If you would have told me that I'd come home from a Disney Cruise changed at a spiritual and emotional level, I'd tell you "No way, no how." That sort of soul-deep impact seems more likely the result of week at a family camp, listening to solid preaching and taking time to digest the Word before hitting the waterfront.
So I entered into our extended family's vacation, set on enjoying the time celebrating my father-in-law's 80th birthday, but not anticipating any spiritual refueling . . . or conviction. Yes, holy conviction.
From the time we boarded the ship until our return to port, I was beside myself in awe. But it wasn't the bling and bells and whistles that grabbed my attention . . . it was the people who served us that touched me at the deepest level.
The two men who served our table at dinner changed our lives with their kindness.
Be kind and compassionate to one another . . .
From the very first introduction, they called us by name. It was both uncomfortable and welcomed. How did they know us? Were we being watched? How could they be such a quick study?
In every interaction, they were patient, thoughtful, attentive.
By the last night together, we loved these men like they were family and wanted to serve them in return. Why? Because although they were doing their "job" as well-trained and skilled Disney employees, they treated us with such respect, honor, and tender-heartedness that our lives were touched for the better.
They were a testimony to Disney.
And they left us wondering, what kind of testimony are we to Christ?
Are we kind, thoughtful and service-minded to those within the family of God and beyond? Are we calling each other by name, acknowledging needs, and seeking to meet them? Are we reaching towards each other in acts of sincere service, or only interested in serving ourselves?
Maybe, the reason we noticed their excellence in all things is because our heads weren't bent towards our screens.
Ah, three days without internet . . . without email or social media . . . kept our heads upright, focusing more on each other and being present in the moment.
Yes, our Disney experience changed us . . . reminding us that "kindness is key" and social media doesn't need to be as much of thing.
Being present in the moment and being purposed in our interactions, as an overflow of our relationship with Christ, is where real joy is found, whether sailing the waters to the Bahamas or sitting around the dinner table at home.
As we returned home, we all felt the challenge to consider our testimony, both to those looking outside in and the one we were cultivating when no one was looking. A heavy conviction rested upon me and my husband, that in order to be kind, we need to be emotionally present and not distracted by our screens and everything happening online.
It's the people in our real life that need our kindness the most.
And so we got busy deleting apps and re-implemented our commitment to docking devices as we embrace the challenge to be wholly and holy focused. Is that a challenge you need to embrace too?
Should you take a social media and internet hiatus with your family, just to get in touch with how it's affecting your lives?
In what ways can you demonstrated shockingly-refreshing kindness to both strangers and family members in the way you serve them daily and interact with them in each and every encounter?
May His overflowing kindness working through you and your family, become your testimony to God’s work to those you interact with on a daily basis . . . because kindness really does communicate His love and meets in a need in all of us.
Humbled by Him,