Volume 14.06 | June 2013

  • Helping Ourselves

    In one story Jesus told, a young man left home hoping to make his fortune, but ended up wasting his share of the family’s wealth on wild living. Finally, penniless and humbled, he returned to his father’s house, probably expecting and psyched up for an angry—or at least condescending—attitude and a stern lecture. His father, […]

  • My Moment of Glory

    During the spring of my junior year in high school, some girls suggested we practice for the junior-senior basketball game, and I thought it might be fun, so I tagged along. I did poorly in practice, more focused on my friends than on the game; but despite getting on the nerves of some of the […]

  • Be a Giver of Kindness

    On a flight I took some months ago, there was a little girl sitting in the catty-cornered seat from me. She had a beautiful new coloring book that her mother had obviously brought especially for the flight. Occupying the same row was another girl about the same age whose father was seated behind her. This […]

  • The Courage to Be Kind

    One sunny afternoon roughly seventy years ago, a young girl and her friends were watching through the mesh of a barbed wire fence as a group of men played football [soccer], enjoying the excitement of the game and the skill of the players. Suddenly, a kick sent the ball in an arc over the fence, […]

  • Kindness—The Irresistible Fruit

    Kindness is love in action, love translated into simple everyday terms. It’s being considerate of others. It’s living the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”1 It’s turning a blind eye to the flubs and foibles of others. It’s being as tenderhearted and forgiving toward others as God is […]

  • The Gift of Listening

    I had just moved to a new country with my husband and family. That meant new schools for the children and a new job for my husband. It was a difficult time of adjustment for all of us, but I was especially feeling the strain. My marriage was feeling it, too. There was a growing […]

  • Pausing to Care

    I don’t know how she did it, but the cashier’s eyes peered right into mine. I’d been discovered. I had tried to avoid eye contact as I was finishing the grocery shopping. More embarrassing than being seen in public coping with a rare meltdown would be someone discovering the “nothing to cry about” interaction that […]

  • Boomerang

    When I was a little girl, I went to my first circus. There, before my awestruck eyes, were three rings in full action—performing animals in one, and acrobats leaping and flying through the air in another. What interested me most, though, was taking place in the third ring. A girl and a boy were flinging […]

  • Net Worth and Breeding Patterns of the Common Hug

    The signs were nothing but rectangles of white-painted plywood adorned with bright red words proclaiming, “ABRAZOS GRATIS” (“FREE HUGS”), along with flowers, hearts, and other cheerful splotches of eye-catching color. We drove to our rendezvous point at a nearby university campus to meet up with the rest of our crew, and then struck out around […]

  • Change the World

    Question: I’d like to do more to improve things around me, but I don’t feel there’s a lot I can do. Changing the world seems like such a huge task—how to know where to start?  Answer: The good news is, you don’t need to be someone powerful or famous to make a difference. Each positive […]

  • The Unsung Hero

    The story of the boy who gave his lunch to the disciples to share with the multitude is well known.1 Jesus took the two small loaves and five fishes, blessed the food which was multiplied miraculously, and thousands of hungry people were satisfied. Who was the little boy? What was his name? What was the […]

  • Love at Work

    There is a special happiness and contentment that comes from putting others and their needs above your own. When you’re doing something kind for someone, it doesn’t just benefit them, it also benefits you. The happiness that comes through kind and caring and generous actions is not a light or frivolous satisfaction or pleasure; it’s […]