Tonight my mom and I were walking around Kroger in search of something. A kind older man could tell we were looking for something, asked what it was, and helped guide us in the right direction. 20 or so minutes later as we exited, he pulled his cart along oars and said, "did you find it?". He was so happy to have helped us, as we walked away after exchanging pleasantries about applesauce and senior discounts, my mom and I looked at each other and said, "he must be lonely". I told her I noticed he didn't wear a wedding ring, and then she pointed out how many lonely people there are out there. As I sit in my apartment alone tonight, it's easy for me to feel sad that I'm by myself, to wallow in singleness and the silence. But the truth is, I am inordinately blessed with great friends and family who love and support me everyday. But how many people to I pass by everyday that dont have that, that truly live lonely, solitary lives? I think it's more than I'm really comfortable recognizing. How many people do I have the opportunity to show gentleness to, even through a smile or small talk that acknowledged their presence in this big, lonely world? How many times do I pass on the opportunity because of fear/social anxiety/ awkwardness? This is one of the scriptures in the Advent calendar (see previous post/ link in profile) that is really sticking with me lately. I'm praying that the Lord would restore a gentle heart in me, one that's not too busy to stop and talk to someone else or lend a hand or listen well. The world has a lot of movers and shakers. I think I'd rather be known by my gentleness and love.