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Issue 114 - Simple Acts - September 2014

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Simple Acts of Kindness 


A touching video . . .


Simple Acts of Kindness - Give it a try
Simple Acts of Kindness - Give it a try
A simple act of kindness found me.
A simple act of kindness saved me.
A simple act of kindness brought me home.

Past Issues


2-Creating Sacred Space

3-Leaving Footprints


5-Ordered Life

76-Vanier Visit

87-Wondrous Fear, Holy Awe

91-Crater Lake



101-On Reflections 

102-Morning Moments

104-Into Self Into God

107-First Home

108-NBA Championship

109-Not Nice

110-On Freedom 

111-Electronic Dependency

112 Robin Williams


Link to all past issues 


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The Wrong Place

       It was one of those days - maybe you've been there too - that I found myself in a place I shouldn't have been. But then maybe I should have.

       I was in an area of town where I never go. I was in-between appointments and had a few minutes to spare before I met with my next client. I noticed a sign for a Garden Center and thought to myself, "What a delightful thing, just to walk among the beautiful flowers." So I turned and drove into the driveway. Just as I approached a parking space, I saw a man's wallet on the asphalt. A moment of panic - "Oh! What if someone needs his wallet?!" Of course he does, that's why people carry wallets. I picked it up and found no phone number nor email address for the owner. I called the companies listed on the credit and other cards, asking them to notify him, Mr. Redmann, of the found wallet, but all the companies refused. I drove to the local police station

and asked the officer to contact the owner; he refused. So I packaged the wallet and mailed it to the address on Mr. Redmann's driver's license. Several days later I received a phone call from him expressing his gratitude, followed by a kind note and a generous thank-you gift (which I applied to Soul Windows Ministries). Mr. Redmann reached out and a simple act of kindness found me. 

       What to make of all this? I feel deep in my soul that I was in the wrong place at the right time for a purpose. Surely God was looking after Mr. Redmann. God sent me to be the messenger and the taskmaster to return the wallet to the rightful owner. Sometimes when we wonder how we ended up at some unplanned place, maybe it really was in the plan.

       It probably was no coincidence that on my drive home, I saw a bumper sticker which read, "Being nice to people is a really good idea." Have you had any good ideas lately? Maybe the good idea is, in the first place, the Divine plan.

--by Jan




I spent about an hour this morning pulling weeds. (Yes - it is such a rare event that I need to announce it to the world!)

A weed, of course, is any plant growing where you do not want it to grow. To quote Webster's dictionary: a weed is "a plant that is not valued where it is growingA rosebush in a cornfield is a weed.  A stately oak tree, too close to a house, roots cracking the foundation, is a weed.

The definition of weed is purely subjective. It is a plant growing where I do not want it to grow.

Our attitudes toward other people can be surprisingly similar.  In fact, there is a German folk saying. If an unpleasant person shows up, one person might whisper to another "Unkraut vergeht nicht" (there's no getting rid of weeds.)

But the weeds in my flower bed can also be seen as signs of the fecundity of God's good earth. And the person who is irritating may have come your way bringing some hidden gift, a gift that you may not even know you need. Once, interviewing for a pastoral position, a member of the search committee kept asking probing, and challenging, questions. I thought to myself, "She looks like a pain in the neck!" After the meeting I thought again: "Yes, but she will be a useful pain in the neck," not letting me slide by with half-thought answers.  

Perhaps if we were more reflective, less self-centered, but more self-aware, we might join in Gerard Manley Hopkins' hymn of praise:

What would the world be, once bereft           

Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,     

O let them be left, wildness and wet;

Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

            - from Inversnaid


                                                                 - Bill

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Sincerely,  Bill Howden & Jan Davis
Soul Windows Ministries