A number I didn’t recognise flashed up when the landline rang. Normally I’m wary at picking up a call from an unknown mobile number, having had way too many unsolicited sales calls in the past. But this time? I took the chance…

And I was glad I had trusted my instincts. It turned out to be a hospital chaplain kindly offering my bed-bound, in-patient husband an opportunity to speak with me. His voice was dry, rasping at the edges, faint but full of love.

Her seemingly insignificant deed of reaching out made my man’s day and gave me a lovely surprise as well. It doesn’t take much to turn a person’s day (or life) around, and the means lie within our reach.

Random acts of kindness are a lovely thing. But what if we deliberately looked for ways to be a blessing to one another? What might that look like for you or me?

Maybe we could offer rest to our wounded sisters and brothers, come alongside the hurting and reveal God’s love to them. We are imperfect, living conduits of God’s unrestricted, unlimited presence.

There are any number of ways in which to enrich the lives of others. Fully attentive listening to people is a beautiful grace gift.

In the listening, we can hear the heart cry behind the words being shared, those unspoken murmurings which reveal deep inner need.

One thing we can offer is to be a peaceful sanctuary for someone, give back a fraction of what has so graciously been given to us. A listening ear and a receptive heart will be a great start.

As we praise God for His unfailing goodness toward us, we can pray for Him to touch the lives of those He desperately loves but whose hearts are far from Him. We can remember His grace while we’re in the process of being restored ourselves.

We’re the broken, being-put-back-together people who can play a part in helping others to become whole. We can give our time and attention, our stillness, our prayers and our practical help where able and applicable.

My husband cherished those who sat beside him, took time to try to see life from his broken body perspective, brought relief from pain, offered hope of improvement to come.

When I was a nurse it often seemed like a patient’s most pressing need was for kindness and a listening ear, alongside prompt attention and good medical care, of course.

We might write ourselves off as unworthy, ill-equipped, uncertain or shy. But helping others isn’t really about numbers. If we can help lift just one person’s load with an act of kindness, a promise of prayer,  a card in the post or a dose of reassurance and encouragement, then it is worth it.

You and I are not a number but a person of infinite worth and value to God. And when we have His Spirit within we can be part of giving His hope, encouragement and care to others as we go about our daily lives.