CAOK 2011

March 9th

Sea anemone

Calculated Acts of Kindness — CAOK — is a Lenten themed project I’ve led for several years. The idea is to spend the 40-plus days of lent in reflection, strengthening your faith through helping others.

This help may come in a note of encouragement, time volunteered at the food bank, buying a stranger lunch or simply paying someone a compliment. The intention of CAOK is to stretch your own comfort by being of service to others, and to do so humbly.

That humble part make this a bit tricky. I encourage you to share your ideas and acts here as a way of encouraging and inspiring others to participate. If you’d like to see what’s been done in the past, there are photo galleries and plenty of posts.

I look forward to this challenge each year because so many people reach out. They send the love letter they’ve been thinking of writing. They buy bus tickets and hand them out at the stop before work. They anonymously send flowers to the woman in the office going through a divorce. You wouldn’t believe how many of these emails I’ve received. It is a powerful project to be a part of.

So! If you are interested — now’s the time. Let’s do what they say can’t be done. Let’s make our homes, communities and world a bit brighter by truly being kind.

Saguaro bloom week

A Franciscan Blessing:

May God bless you with discomfort. Discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart. Amen

May God bless you with anger. Anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace. Amen

May God bless you with tears. Tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain into joy. Amen

May God bless you with foolishness. Enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. Amen

And the blessing of God, who creates, redeems and sanctifies, be upon you and all you love and pray for this day, and forever more. Amen


Posted in
CAOK, Faith, Journal
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8 Responses

  1. I absolutely love this, Kelli. LOVE. I also loved when you shared all your projects, not because I thought you wanted a pat on the back, but because I found them inspirational. Just the pure generosity & fabulousness of your deeds! It’s a great idea for Lent & I’m happy that CAOK is still happening. Time to get crackin’!

  2. Melissa Oldham March 9, 2011

    I am really looking forward to this! I just posted your blog link to my facebook in case any of my friends want to join in.

  3. I really needed to read this blessing today, this month, this season. Thank you for that kindness! 😉

  4. June’s post the other day about using Lent as a time of service toward others sounded just right to me…and I woke up this morning realizing that, Hey, I know what that reminds me of: CAOK!! Such a beautiful way to spend a beautiful season.

  5. I’m in with you again. And yes, that blessing was spot-on today.

  6. I love this idea. Count me in.

  7. I have that blessing hanging on my wall at home and on my facebook Bio. I love it.

  8. Great idea! I am in for CAOK! Such a wonderful idea for the Lent season. Thanks for sharing your pics and posts from the past, it gave me some good ideas.

    The blessing was just what I needed this week, thank you.

    Have a wonderful weekend!