My husband and I have had a little game going since we got married. It’s called, “Things I’ve never said before.” When one of us says to the kids, “How did the toothpaste get on the ceiling?” or “Did you poop in the tub?” we will look at each other and say, “Well, that’s something I haven’t said before.”
It’s diffused a lot of tenuous situations and left us giggling at ourselves instead of standing in a hot lava pit of angry or frustrated emotions.
I spoke at a women’s conference this weekend and although I don’t think I said anything off-the-wall that I haven’t said before, I definitely heard something that I hadn’t heard before.
Saturday morning, I gave my testimonial… basically explaining the story of my mom falling in love with a prison inmate and my Saturday visits to that prison as a child. I love to share the beauty of God’s redemption and the power of kindness to help us through life’s sticky situations.
Saturday afternoon, I gave a workshop on kindness. For 45 minutes, I basically told the group everything I’d ever done wrong when it comes to kindness; the misconceptions I had in the beginning and tools I use to reroute my brain when being kind becomes difficult.
I was sitting at a table signing books later that afternoon, when a white-haired woman slight in stature with sparkly eyes came over to say hi. Those bright eyes locked into mine and with a bit of a smirk she said, “Nicole, I ran right over to confession after I listened to your workshop!”
Then she proceeded to ask me to sign her book to “Sister (her name)”.
Did you catch that? She’s a nun. I made a NUN feel guilty! It’s probably some sort of a sin, but I think that’s hysterical! With all I’ve done wrong in my life… all the ways I’ve failed to do right… a CATHOLIC NUN is going to confession to get right with God because of me?
I choked and then I laughed out loud. I said, “Sister, that is definitely something I haven’t heard before.”
I still smile as I reflect on that conversation.
We do that to ourselves sometimes, don’t we? We feel like if we’re not helping everyone, if we’re not making the most of every single opportunity, then we are failing. Maybe you don’t think that way, but I do.
That’s why I love this week’s memory verse. I’m committed to memorizing it because I know it’s important to remember the basics. What does God expect from us? What does he want from us? What would make Him happy?
It’s all there in Micah 6:8: “The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
We don’t have to save the world. We just have to be kind to the people in it as best we can. No guilt or confession required.