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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 10: Taking Time to be Kind

This morning when I finished my tennis match, I returned to my car to see that I had a flat tire.  UGH.  No AAA here in Sweden.  What to do?  I coud see that there was a spare tire in the trunk, but I couldn't find the jack and truth be told...I wasn't really sure what to do.  So I humbled myself, walked back into the tennis club and asked Andreas, the club manager if he would be willing to help a "damsal in distress."  I felt so stupid...helpless female and all other clichés coming to mind.  But immediately he quit stringing the tennis racquet he was working on, grabbed his hat and walked out the door with me.  Fortunately it was a bright, sunny day but it was chilly.  We got to the car, he located the jack, (which by the way is called a domkraft in Swedish!  Definitely a new word for me and hopefully one I won't have to use very often!) and began the dirty and not so nice task of getting the car up so we could remove the tire and replace it.  I did what I could to help, removing the hubcap (navkapsel) and helped to unscrew the bolts.  Truth be told, even if I did know what to do, and could locate the "domkraft" under the spare, I'm not sure I could've turned the bolts myself.  It was very good of him to take a half hour out of the middle of the day and help me!
A real bonus was the chat we shared whilst he worked on my car.  He asked if I was going to the US for Christmas and I said, "No, I work in a church and have services over the holidays."  "Oh", he replied. "What kind of church is it?"  I said MissionKyrkan, a protestant church.  He said, "I was just wondering because I'm Orthodox.  I come from Greece."  I asked him if he went to the Orthodox church nearby where I live.  He said he does.  And then he said the greatest thing...He said, "Christmas is a special time because we celebrate the birth of Jesus, but the most important time for us is Easter, for that is when we celebrate the resurrection!"  I agreed with him with warmth and joy in my heart.
I'm not sure it's right for me to say that I'm actually glad I had flat tire this morning, but I am very glad that I got to talk to Andreas a bit more personally.  Not only did he bless me with his random act of kindness, that clearly cost him time and got his clothes and hands dirty, he also shared his faith with me, which provided unspeakable joy.
We're all busy right now.  Advent is heating up.  The days go by with lightening speed.  But, we miss the entire spirit of the season if we don't look for those wonderful opportunity to reach out for someone with kindness, be it in word or deed.  You just never know how God will use you in another's person life.  He used Andreas in mine this morning...how cool is it that the tennis club manager here in Stockholm Sweden not only knows how to change a tire, he is an orthodox believer...a brother of mine in Christ.  Hallelujah!