Today in 4th grade we read part of the book that is changing elementary student interactions around the nation: Wonder by R.J. Palacio. The main character, a boy named August, has a deformed face. On his first official day of school, he makes a friend at lunch. Summer, a talkative girl, does something extraordinary. She sits with August and denies the invitation to return to a different table of her friends. Simple but profound. The story launched a classroom discussion on the difference we can make in others’ lives by plain acts of kindness.
I take such joy from seeing, discovering, finding the beauty in the ordinary, and calling it by name.
I came across this video today. I’ll call it precious. Inspiring. Lovely. Kind. I want to be this woman’s friend. For now, I’ll just strive to be more like her. I will do what I can, with what I have, right where I am. Today.
Today I received a hug, answered a surprise question about my spiritual journey, encouraged a shy boy with smiles he returned, and entered into the story-writing world of unbound child imagination.
Anything we do for someone else is beautiful. Sometimes it doesn’t even mean stepping out of our path. But just pausing for a moment right where we’re at for the person next to us.
I see a similarity in my diminutive decisions today and this 98-year-old woman’s choice: responsiveness. She had a friend in need of a simple something she was able to provide. And she chose to respond and say yes. But further, she chose to fight for it.
Lord, may I be willing to fight for the opportunity to bless.
Where is the invitation for simple beauty in your life today? Pause. Fight the urge to multitask, move on, and miss a chance to be kind. Answer a question. Take an action. Encourage. Listen. Be available for beauty.
“Love is kind.” 1 Corinthians 13