Kindness not Blindness (Friday Five, #14)

Happy World Kindness Day 2020!

World Kindness Day: a global day that promotes the importance of being kind to each other, to yourself, and to the world. This day, celebrated on November 13 of each year, has the purpose is to help everyone understand that compassion for others is what binds us all together. This understanding has the power to bridge the gap between nations.

Hello, and how are you really? Friends, it is not lost on me that we are still in the weird and wild of 2020 {the double pandemic}, and today is Friday the 13th, merely a week after a highly anticipated US election full of heightened emotions and polarizing perspectives.

Matthew 11:28…ish

{Insert 3 deep breaths and a short nap.} It’s exhausting just typing all of that!

How to start outdoor rock climbing: Angy Eiter's tips

With everything going on, what can I cling to? Where can I find my footing?

Simply put: go to your bookshelf and pull out a childhood favorite. Crack open your stain-filled family cookbook (or any website), and make your favorite comfort food. Call a longtime friend and reminisce about some really good days. Get a red-and-green decorated cup filled with comforting java from your favorite coffee shop. {i.e., take care of yourself.}

Then…practice kindness.

Being kind is not frivolous, a rainbow unicorn wrapped in a candy-coated blanket, 🦄 found frolicking through imaginary lands. Kindness is deep, gut-wrenchingly hard work. And, yet, it can be shown so simply…through a smile, tear-filled eyes, and a universal gaze at someone that says, “I see you. I care for you. You are loved.”
Let’s all up our kindness capacities…we’ve got this! ❤️

And it’s uncomfortable and challenging, and there’s a reason we don’t all practice it at all times—kindness takes vision, a willingness to admit where we are in our own lives, so that we can gaze across to another’s life and see them as they are. Not only do we need to consciously remove our own blinders (and self-obsessed temptations of mess), we also have to choose to reach across and be available for someone else’s mess.

When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people Abraham Joshua Heschel

Rabbi Heschel and many of us know of the power of kindness. When a person really sees us as an awkward 12 year old and takes an interest in our messy lives, we feel the deep, deep love of God. When someone really listens when you tell them about your woes or just the mediocre lunch you ate earlier, there is kindness attached. And when you are in your darkest moment, and you can cling to someone for support and presence, that trust shows the true power of genuine kindness. Reminds me of John 3:16, or something like that. = )

The life practice of kindness is just that…a work toward ultimately being a kind human. This is no dress rehearsal kind of practice…this is a life focus, needed and contagious.

Ephesians 4:32 “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.”

  1. Check-in: What was a time when you truly experienced kindness (by a stranger, close friend, co-worker) ? How are you extending kindness and your genuine presence right now? (Either write down your thoughts or share with a trusted one.)
  2. Action/Inaction: What are some ways you can practice kindness in your corner? What do you need to do to extend this kindness further?
  3. Time with God: God, thank you for the freedom to practice kindness. Wow, your heart is big, and you extend this contagious invention of kindness for all of your Creation to both experience and extend to others. Guide me in your gift of life and joy. In Your Son, Jesus’, name we pray, Amen.

I thank God for this opportunity to spend 5 minutes of your valuable time with you. May we continually extend our vision to see people and to experience the joy that comes with being truly kind.


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