My journey with kindness began when I was a substitute teacher years ago. I was in a middle school enjoying the quiet of an empty classroom while I ate my lunch…
when I saw it.
A small sign read, “Be kind to everyone. You may be the nicest part of someone’s day.”
Me? The nicest part of someone’s day? Really?
The more I considered the lives of students, the more I realized the possibility that I that could be the kindest part of someone’s day. Children suffering through their parents’ divorce or re-marriage. Children plagued with self-esteem and self-concept issues. Children being bullied. Children struggling with a learning disability surrounded by classmates that don’t. Yes, I realized I had the potential of being the nicest (most kind) part of someone’s day.
I loved the saying so much I made it my e-mail signature at work as a daily reminder. Been using it for years.
A few months ago I casually asked a co-worker how his day was going. He responded by saying he was having a great day because that morning he had gotten the results of his most recent PET scan and he was still cancer free.
I hadn’t even known.
I was struck by his response and the realization that he had had some really, really bad days in recent years when I hadn’t even known.
I hope I was nice to him every time we interacted.
I was so struck, I told my students later that day I hoped our class was a kind part of every day we met together.
Then last Sunday happened.
My fabulous pastor reviewed Micah 6:8: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Look at that, love kindness. LOVE kindness.
I am falling more in love with kindness every day.
God not only loves kindness, He IS kindness. The fruit of the Spirit is” love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Something I try to do every week is pray through Sunday’s sermon notes. I go very slowly. The idea is to absorb and mediate on what I heard.
I just sat and stared at Micah 6:8 this morning.
What does it look like for me to love justice today? My sermon notes say to “Do something right on behalf of someone else.” I determined this morning that every one of my students was going to get my best. Some are marginalized by society, but they won’t be anything but cherished and valued by me. I will do them justice.
What does it look like today for me to walk humbly with my God?
Well, I had already gotten things started on the right foot. Also in Sunday’s sermon an early morning practice was shared. Start the morning prostrate on the floor humbly declaring things like…
I am nothing. You are everything.
I am powerless. You are all power.
The day is not mine. The day belongs to you.
I am child. You are Father.
I know nothing. You know everything.
I happened to have done that this morning. Me nothing (without Christ). God everything (so glad I have Him).
What was I going to do to LOVE kindness?
I took my son the bus stop and noticed my husband had not yet had an opportunity to take the trash to the curb. Instead of commuting to work like I usually do after my son is safely on the bus, I returned home to first take the cans to the curb for him this morning.
When the task was completed, I texted my still sleeping husband, “Garbage down. Roll back over.”
“U r too kind. I love you.”
Yup, no kidding. He said, “too kind.”
My favorite word right now.
Turns out, it is one of God’s favorite words too.
Folks, life is hard for everyone. Let’s be kind!
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