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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Jackson

Kindness like confetti - or maybe that is missing the mark

Have you seen those confetti cannons? Our church in North Carolina would use them after a child was baptized to celebrate. It was such a fun idea to make it feel like a party as they came up out of the water. My husband was on staff at the church for a season and a part of his role was to manage the facilities. He did not love the confetti cannons. Confetti is a mess!! And after the celebration someone had to ensure all those tiny pieces of confetti were picked up.

Have you heard the phrase, “throw kindness around like confetti?” I get the concept – it touches everything, its freely thrown, it is sprinkled everywhere. But I think there is a misunderstanding in throwing kindness like confetti. When we choose to throw kindness like confetti it has the potential of making a huge mess, and it is done carelessly. I think most of us would find it less sacrificial to throw kindness like confetti instead of the hard work of ensuring our kindness doesn’t leave a mess and is intentional in where it lands.

I know this because I’ve been guilty of shallow thrown kindness in my life. A quick glance at my social media feeds and it is evident that I enjoy performing acts of kindness, but it is not always given in a way that focuses on the need of someone else. Let’s be honest, sometimes kindness was given as a way to make me look good and feel good, even if only to myself. That isn’t kindness, its stroking pride. Usually that kind of kindness leaves the mess of a confetti cannon. Have you been the recipient of kindness like that? Kindness that ensures the recipient is given accolades above the receiver experiencing love? What did you feel like? Has someone used their kindness towards you as a way to gain approval or showcase themselves? It leaves a mess – even if only in our hearts.

Kindness that focuses the attention on the giver is never what God intended. When Jesus walked the earth he said, when you give to others, “do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” (Matthew 6:3). Jesus intended that our kindness be done in a way that is quiet and between the giver and recipient, not for the world to participate.

If I want to show kindness that reflects love as 1 Corinthians says, it must be experienced like the point of an arrow – intentionally thought out, not shot from a cannon with hopes it may land close to the recipient. That type of kindness takes reflection, thought and planning. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but reflecting on the other person and their needs is paramount. Current culture doesn’t take time to be reflective, we just like to check the box.

I recently pulled into my driveway after running some errands and saw a small wrapped package at my front door. I had a text from a neighbor saying they wanted to help me celebrate an upcoming event. As I opened the package and saw the thoughtful gift inside, I knew it was not something thrown together. It was reflective of who I am, intentional in making my heart feel valued, and beyond thoughtful. Our kindness has the potential to change someone’s day or dare I say, impact their lives.

ARTWORK BY: Lauren Garner of Willow & Stone Designs.

To see more of her beautifully creative artwork, check her out on Instagram @willowandstonedesigns .

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