My main mission in life is to love the Lord with all my heart and to love my neighbor as myself (Luke 10:27), so it goes without saying that I have a desire and responsibility to be kind. How often do I fall short? Plenty often, yet I can honestly say I desire more than ever to share the love of the Lord with the world around me. Why? In loving Him, I want to love His Creation. So how can I do this? How much does kindness cost? How difficult is it to be kind? How exactly do I show kindness when someone calls me to inquire about adopting a dog?
1. I can show kindness by sharing God’s kindness with others. I can receive His love and pass it on.
2. Kindness comes with the blessing of how good it feels to help others, but it also sometimes comes with a cost. Sometimes my flesh does not want to be kind, especially when I need to be kind to someone who is not kind, has hurt me, has not helped me, etc. But the cost is worth being kind.
3. How difficult is it to be kind? It depends on the person to whom I am called to be kind, and it depends on the circumstances. But the difficulty is neither here nor there. The responsibility and obedience are what matter.
4. How do I show kindness when someone calls about adopting a dog? The answer is simple.
I can take the time to return a call. I can take the care to be polite. I can answer questions, and ask questions. I can offer information whether or not the person asks for it. For example, I can share about low-cost veterinary care the person might want to have in place if the person adopts a dog from me – or from another organization. I can show compassion. I can be friendly. I can offer referrals to other organizations if I do not have the right dog for the person. I can help the person discern whether it is the right time to adopt a dog. I can help the person determine the right dog to adopt. On some occasions, I pick up the fact the person calling me is hurting in some way, has suffered a loss, is undergoing a major trial, etc. When God opens the door, I share the Gospel. I offer prayer. I offer sympathy. I show kindness.
Besides adoption calls, I also have contact with people who want to give up their dogs. On a number of occasions, people have told me other organizations didn’t take the time to return their contact. I try to take the time to return their calls and e-mails, even when I don’t have space to take their dogs. Why? It is a perfect opportunity to share God’s love. I can offer support. I can offer prayer. I can offer suggestions. I can make referrals to others. Sometimes, I have even been able to help people decide to keep their dogs by encouraging them to make changes, consider options, contact a dog trainer, etc. I have seen the transformation in people as I speak to them. Often, they are exasperated, stressed out, tearful, fearful, and so much more. When I show them kindness, I hear them relax, rest, begin to trust – maybe there is an answer after all. Kindness makes a difference.
Honestly, the possibilities are endless when it comes to kindness. The bottom line? If I am loving the Lord and receiving His love for me, I can distribute His love to those around me. I can keep my heart open to however the Lord might want me to express kindness.
In a day and age when people are often too busy to take time for others and to show care, we have endless opportunities to do just the opposite. Take time. Show care.