"Listen, all of you. Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for the happiness of those who curse you; implore God's blessing on those who hurt you.
"If someone slaps you on one cheek, let him slap the other too! If someone demands your coat, give him your shirt besides. Give what you have to anyone who asks you for it; and when things are taken away from you, don't worry about getting them back. Treat others as you want them to treat you." Luke 6: 27-31 (TLB)
Maire Simn is from Tallinn, Estonia. Her apartment is close to a large shopping center, and she often visits the grocery store there. Even though there are many checkout counters at the exit of the grocery store, Maire usually pushes her shopping cart to one familiar cashier who has always been very friendly and efficient.
One day the cashier looked tired and sad, which was unusual. Maire wanted to cheer her up, so she told her how much she likes her friendly attitude in serving customers. She looked at Maire and her eyes were filled with tears. She said, "Thank you for your kind words. My husband died yesterday in the hospital, and you have consoled me."
Maire believes that God's spirit prompted her to start that conversation. How often do we notice the needs of our neighbors? How often do we respond to God's prompting to speak a word of kindness? If we are willing to listen, we may hear God's voice guiding us to speak a word that someone needs to hear.
Prayer: Loving God, help us to listen for your prompting, and help us to speak words of kindness and peace to those around us, in Jesus' name, amen.