I was recently dropping my little one off at preschool and on my way back I went through the same intersections I do every day. One of them has a major business driveway offset from the cross street, so that those coming out of said driveway need to time their exit carefully and hope people let them out if they’re taking a left. It was clear one driver was having a hard time, so clear that the kind driver in front of me stopped to let her out. Nothing monumental, but something we all love to see and don’t see enough: kindness.
There are many opportunities for kindness and too often they’re missed. We all know what it is to need. In fact, it’s very human to recognize need in not only ourselves but in others. To be saintly is to seek to fill that need and to do so with love.
Humans have basic needs and, at the core, survival instincts. The further from our life source (God, for those in the back of the room), the more survival instincts activate. We need food, water, sleep, and security. Those who lack any of those basics will fall into survival mode at times. Hunger and thirst take over, lack of sleep makes most pretty grouchy, and lack of security kicks on that fight or flight mentality. (For the last one, consider those suffering with PTSD.)
Faith allows us to stay connected with our True Source of life, the One who made us. Without Him, nothing came to be (John 1:3). So if the Creator of all things desires us (John 3:16), He will surely provide for us (Luke 12:24) even beyond the basic needs of humanity (Matthew 7:11). This is the faith God desires us to have in Him. So, in having such faith, we are led to love Him. In loving Him, we are led to love others as He does.
This is the core of sainthood, to put the love of God before self. Since God is Love, then putting God first is putting Love first and we can’t help but share that love. We seek to love others and fill their needs with that same love. We can’t confuse this with seeking to fill their desires. Only the desires of God should ever be filled for He alone is truly righteous. But we should seek to fill the needs of others, especially that of their salvation.
So, in that mindset, we can be more kind on the road or hold the door for others. We can offer up the last cookie or be more patient in line for the barista who seems to be working alone. We can offer a smile or a kind word or even a larger tip. God will provide for us and we can pay it forward. As we do, He will continue to provide for our needs and help us to inspire others to that same love.