Pause

Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy it will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.

from The Dance of Life by Henri Nouwen (2005)

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Listen

Be glad in the Lord always! Again I say, be glad! Let your gentleness show in your treatment of all people. The Lord is near.

Philippians 4:4-5

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Think

What does it mean to be truly happy? The world teaches us that if we get the right phone or have the right friends or live in the right neighborhood, then we will be happy. These things that the world tells us will bring us happiness are all momentary things – they will drift away. They’re unable to give us the true joy that we all desire.

Paul is describing a true happiness that can only be found one way. He says that the only way to be truly happy is to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. A life that pleases God is a life of kindness. To be truly joyful, we must be gentle with everyone we encounter: sitting next to someone who is eating alone in the cafeteria, listening to a friend who is having a hard time, taking a moment to smile and laugh with someone to bring joy into their day.

It is in this striving to care for others and bring them joy that we too will find our true happiness.

Becky Caswell-Speight

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Pray

God, help me to share kindness and in doing so find the joy that only you can provide. Amen.

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Go

Go now.

Move from a place of hiding.

Seek kindness and there you will find the face of God in every person you meet.

Becky Caswell-Speight

Becky Caswell-Speight is Minister to Families at Smoke Rise Baptist Church in Stone Mountain, Georgia, where she lives with her husband Josh and their two girls Ainsley and Evelyn.

Advent Waiting: Wexford Carol – O Come Little Children

David Burroughs

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