Sarah Lysne: The joy of Christmas memories, Part III

Published 6:02 pm Friday, December 16, 2022

For seven years, I worked at a church. I retired from my job, six months after my ALS diagnosis.

I loved my job. My primary responsibilities were activities for young families and visiting those who were unable to attend church services, but I had many jobs.

As my disease progressed, I noticed that I was beginning to tire more easily.  It was the fall of 2019, and I was starting to plan the children’s Christmas program.  One day a friend asked if she could take care of the Christmas program for me.  I felt guilty because she worked full time, and she was busy with her family, but she insisted that it would be fine.

Author Houston Kraft would call the help my friend offered an act of deep kindness. In his book, “Deep Kindness: A Revolutionary Guide To How We Think, Talk, And Act In Kindness,” Kraft explains how deep kindness takes time and thoughtfulness. It is something you do that is tailored for a specific person and you don’t expect anything in return.  He contrasted being nice as more random, for example, telling someone that you like their artwork.

I witnessed many acts of deep kindness at the church where I worked, especially at Christmas time. Here are just a few examples: Toys and food items were collected for families in need, several church members rang the bell for the Salvation Army, the youth and their families went caroling through the halls of some of the residential care facilities, and a small group of women sent many Christmas cards with handwritten messages of hope and cheer.

Today I am blessed to receive many gifts of deep kindness from family and friends.

If we all performed acts of deep kindness more often, then it might feel like Christmas all of the time.