Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The Simple Difference

By: Jenifer Metzger

When my husband and I started camping at the lake, we noticed something. Everyone waved. Everyone said "hi." Our first weekend at the lake we drove around and, by mistake, drove past the same house three times within five minutes. The gentleman mowing his lawn smiled and waved all three times. Everyone, whether weekend campers or full timers, wave and seem genuinely happy to see you.

After about a year of camping at this lake, I was walking around my neighborhood back at home early one morning. I waved at the man bringing his garbage can to the curb. Nothing. I waved at the lady weeding her garden. Nothing. I waved at the man pulling out of his driveway heading to work. Nothing. As I walked throughout my neighborhood I encountered five people and not a single one waved back. This simple act of kindness was lost.

Becky Keife says, "Four of the most common and intertwined barriers that stand in the way of our willingness to show kindness to others are awkwardness, inconvenience, lack of compassion, and snap judgements."  I'll be the first to admit, I have been guilty of all four at some point; especially awkwardness.

When I think of all the missed friendships, missed opportunities, and even times I missed obeying God all because of my own awkwardness, convenience, lack of compassion, and judgmental ways, it breaks my heart. How many times did God place someone in my path to encourage with a simple "hello"? How many times did God place someone in my path to pray for them? I missed so many opportunities!

On the other hand, when I really think about it, what about all the times I was kind to a stranger but failed to show kindness to my own family. That happens more than I'd dare admit. Our families often get the tired, frustrated, stressed out wife and mom. Becky says, "My 'warm and friendly, let me grab the door for you' persona in public doesn't always match my attitude and actions in private." Ouch.

Kindness is such a small thing that makes such a big impact, in public and in private. Becky says, "Kindness once is a small stone skipped in the large lake of life. The ripple is visible and meaningful in the moment-but eventually it will fade. Repeated kindness, on the other hand, creates an ongoing impact. Like pebble upon pebble upon pebble ricocheting off the glassy water. The rigs of influence widen, the depth of the impact deepens. When the stones keep coming, they're sure to create waves of lasting change."

What if we became women who tossed pebbles of kindness day after day, hour after hour? What if we became women who tossed pebbles of kindness at work, at school, at the grocery store, at the coffee shop, at church, and at home? This simple difference will make a lifelong lasting effect.

To read more from Becky Keife in her new book, The Simple Difference: How Every Small Kindness Makes A Big Difference, click the banner below.

It's time for Share A Link Wednesday! Each Wednesday we invite you to leave a link to your latest blog post in the comments. We still desire to connect women of God with one another and encourage each other in Christ. So grab a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea, sit back and visit a few blogs. Be encouraged and share your own stories.


  1. I've been guilty of giving in to all four of those barriers, too. Interesting word picture of repeated acts of kindness vs. occasional. May God open our eyes and hearts to opportunities to be kind.

    I wrote this week about several impressions from the memorial service of a beloved family friend and mentor:

  2. Oh yes--let's toss those pebbles of kindness! Even if we don't always receive a human response, our Heavenly Father is watching and it will surely make him smile. Thank you, Jennifer, for the important reminder!


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