This week has been brutal. The election is over. The malevolence is not. Or maybe it’s not about the election at all. Maybe this is about what has been stirring in people’s hearts for a very long time. Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). It just needed an excuse to flow over. On both sides. I don’t know, really. I do know, I’m tired. Wearied right to the bone. You too?
My man and I, our son, and his sons took a walk around the pond last week. There are treasures to explore, frogs to see and the most perfect flat rocks to skip across the waters. A couple times the rocks landed with a kerplunk instead of a skip, leaving a ripple. One here. One there. On occasion when thrown out in unison here and there the ripples merged and created a bigger one.
The stopping of hatefulness has to start somewhere, so why not with me? And you? It sure feels ominous but if we both try together maybe, just maybe, there will be a trickle of a ripple that will somehow reach out and fan the flames of goodness and kindness.
What if just for today, we all agreed to…
Stop Fueling Fear and Kindle Kindness instead.
There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out fear, says Jesus’ disciple John. Love doesn’t fuel fear. Love doesn’t ignite the what if’s and what are we to do’s, causing an unnecessary roar of a flame.
No. Love shows compassion when times are uncertain. Kindling a flame of kindness by walking beside each other in uncertain times while always lighting the way to Hope.
Stop Hurling Hate and be the Giver of Good News.
It’s so easy isn’t it? In this day and age of technology, one can give their scathing opinion…let it be written, let it be said…without ever having contact with those they are so adamantly opposed to. With a few strokes of the keys we can let the world know what we are for or against. What is right or wrong. What we stand for or won’t put up with.
All the while forgetting, these “issues” are actually people. Loved ones. Those who are also made in the image of God. People who have ears to hear the hateful things said, eyes to see the hateful things done and hearts that are broken by people who have forgotten that we are all in desperate need of the Good News of the Gospel.
This today by St. Francis:
Make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in the giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Stop Spewing Social Media Sound Bites, put down your device and be nice!
You all we are so informed, it does us harm. No one can do anything without everyone knowing, reading or hearing about it. We know who went out with who, what everyone was eating, who’s kids poo’ed, who’s mad at who, who was included, who was left out, who had a birthday, half birthday, un-birthday, who ran, who golfed, who played hoops…you get the picture.
I’m just as guilty.
The problem is we become a sound bite society that’s forgotten what it is to have rich, meaningful face to face conversations with actual people. And when we do have a night with real people we’re so busy documenting it that we don’t see the faces before us.
We’ve become a sound bite people who cannot chew on anything for very long without choking. We don’t look things up for ourselves or study the context in depth. We take sound bites as gospel then backbite leaving teeth marks and deep wounds.
Stop. Please stop.
Can we make an effort to be a kindler of kindness? It’s not hard. I promise. We can…
Open a door for someone.
Load someone’s groceries in their car.
Smile at someone.
Rake an elderly person’s yard.
Take dinner to a shut in and eat with them.
Work at a homeless shelter or an abuse shelter.
Can’t do people quite yet after all the hulabaloo? Then you can…
Work at a pet shelter.
Be a kindler of kindness.
Make eye contact.
Pay for someone’s coffee in the drive thru.
Serve at your local church.
Rock babies at the hospital.
Handwrite a note of encouragement.
Speak a nice word to the clerk or waitress who’s having a rough go.
Visit a nursing home.
Get creative and be a kindler of kindness.
It starts with us.
What am I going to do today? Be a Kindler of Kindness.
What are you going to do today to be a Kindler of Kindness?
Let’s do this. If only for today.
I adore you!