I do not believe that you can give something that you do not have. If one does not feel loved, it's nearly impossible to give love. At least in a healthy way. And it is hard to give hope to another, if you yourself are hopeless. Spreading kindness to others through #AdamsActs would be impossible, if I had not first experienced the greatest kindness - the wild, unbridled love of my Jesus and the enduring, life-ending kindness done on my behalf: His death, in place of my own, that I might spend forever with him, the ultimate act of love and selflessness. The truest act of love was done, just for me.
And for you.
I share that because it is not possible for me to continue sharing about these #AdamsActs without explaining the reality that every single act of selflessness or kindness or grace or love is purely a response to having first been loved by Jesus. I am helpless to do good apart from Him and I am certainly not capable of being kind for 31 days straight. I am simply not that well-behaved.
In fact, if you Google the direct Hebrew-to-English translation for the word wretch, my Facebook page will actually come up in the search results. I could have been the poster child for sins and mistakes and selfish ickyness. Yet, I see my face on the front page of a (albeit a very small) newspaper as some sort of poster child for kindness, and so I feel I must explain.
The good you saw in my brother Adam, and any good you might be fooled into seeing in me, and the good that so many of you are spreading through your acts of kindness are a ripple effect from the first act of true love Adam and I ever knew. The love of a kind God shown through his kind son, because he longed for his beloved to remain his own for eternity. We get to be that beloved. I, the definition of a sinful wretch, get to partake in that offering of grace and love.
The result is that I have, and therefore am able to really give.
Some of my favorite kindnesses are those where I can return kindness that was shown to us. Because on top of the ultimate lovingkindness, I have been blessed beyond measure by a community of people who choose to shower our family with love and kindness way more than anyone should be. We are truly spoiled with love from others. Many of you included.
As my friend Lexi once put it "I don't know what it is, but PEOPLE LOVE YOU!" I wasn't offended by her shock and confusion in my lovability, although super rude, because I know what she meant, she meant that people love on us such an irrational amount that it is perplexing.
Today, for Day 25, we wanted to repay a kindness from a neighbor. She brought us cookies to welcome us to the neighborhood a couple weeks ago, even though her brother had just unexpectedly passed away. Kindness in the midst of grief is the hardest to muster, but probably the most healing. So, we wanted to thank her for exerting the effort to make homemade cookies for us during her hard time. In part because they were some of the best sugar cookies I've ever had and I want her to bring them to us on a regular basis, (see, total selfish wretch) but also because we wanted to offer help during a time of grief and sadness (see, also redeemed!)
We wrote a little card...
And we went to rake...