Inconvenient Kindness

Inconvenient Kindness

Fifteen minutes left, I thought and counted the parents I had seen that night. Eight, not bad, but still rather small for three hours. I looked up and saw one more parent take a seat across the gym. I sighed. I had two of his kids in my classes. I’d probably get held late.
I shrugged and decided to work on the blog about tips for parent teacher conferences for my publisher’s website. I added to my list, “Don’t be the parent who shows up fifteen minutes before conferences end and then shoot the breeze”. I glancd up. sure enough, the parent was just chatting with another teacher. I finished my seven tips, closed the computer, gathered my things. It was time. I could go home.
I stood up and made eye contact with the parent. I sat back down. He had come out to the high school and wanted to know how his kids were doing. I might as well accomodate him.
As we chatted, I found something different about him than there had been last year during conferences when he had been the last one through then as well. Suddenly, this wasn’t just a parent teacher conference; it was an opportunity to help a hurting acquaintance. I had seen him in the community and watched his kids grow up with mine. I sat back and listened as he talked.
When he was done, I said, ” Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.” The amazing thing was, I meant it.
As I headed to my car ten minutes later than what I had planned, I realized that sometimes our plans need to be flexible. We never know when we will be called upon to listen to a hurting heart. We may need to stop and help someone. These inconveniences can fill our lives with meaning and joy if we let them, or with frustration and depression if we focus wrong. At first I wasn’t ready or willing to be used to bring joy to this parent, but as I slowed down and took a deep breath, I was prepared to help. As you go about your day, look for those inconveniences that come your way and show kindness and God’s love to those around you.

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