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Embracing Life, Love, and Kindness with Robin Gudal

Robin Gudal: Embracing Positivity, Affection, and Compassion

Perseverance Illustrated by Robin Gudal

During a recent conference trip to Florida, I encountered several individuals who left a lasting impact on me. Among them were three Cuban men, two of whom served as our Uber drivers. Despite the language barrier, we connected through gestures of kindness and shared smiles, transcending linguistic differences. The third individual was a young man employed at the hotel’s Ice Cream Shoppe, where I indulged in a guilty pleasure of sweet treats. Our interactions led to playful banter, with him humorously likening my name to that of a Cuban soccer player. This lighthearted exchange fostered a sense of camaraderie, prompting me to playfully dub him my “cousin” as I savored each increasingly generous serving of ice cream.

The desire for recognition and validation is universal.

One particular day at the shoppe, a gentleman named Greggy spontaneously paid for the conference attendee’s order behind us, sparking a conversation that began with a shared affinity for Red Bull Energy drinks. This chance encounter revealed that the young man, known as K-Ace in the world of rap music, had a profound testimony and a commitment to his faith journey, inspiring me with his dedication to spreading positivity through his art.

It was a delight to witness his influence on the younger generation.

Greggy’s act of kindness extended to engaging a teenager at the poolside, who had traveled to participate in the Football Combine—an event of significance in the football realm, albeit foreign to me. Despite my limited knowledge of the sport, I offered words of encouragement, affirming his potential for future success and maintaining a supportive presence throughout his stay at the hotel. Encouraging him with affirmations like “you got this, Brice!” became a small yet impactful gesture of support.

We all benefit from having encouragers in our corner.

Lastly, a chance encounter with a woman at the pool led to a profound conversation where she shared the challenges and hardships she was facing. In a spontaneous moment of spiritual connection, she expressed a desire to be baptized, a request I hesitated to fulfill as I pondered my qualifications. However, guided by a sense of faith and compassion, I proceeded to perform the baptism, invoking the holy trinity’s blessing upon her newfound journey towards freedom and spiritual awakening.

Reflecting on this experience with a seminary-trained friend, I found solace in the reminder that acts of faith and kindness transcend formal titles, echoing the essence of the Great Commission to spread love and faith to all.

May we all be inspired to uplift others with words of encouragement, affection, and empathy this week.

Robin (Beckman) Gudal, a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, embraces life with intentionality as an imperfect yet dedicated follower of Jesus.