“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Ephesians 4 v. 32
The October trip I took was a success; however, at the top level of this success there were times of indignancy, peripheral betrayal, unacceptance of sweet kindness, pride, and yet there was love. I found myself lashing out one or two times. And felt peace in doing so. I said what I’ve buried for so long. The saliva in my mouth seems smoother and not so grainy now. Not as before.
I tend to hold on to my frustrations with people. But no one knows these frustrations are within. I silently scream when the screws in a new wood project are not lined up properly, and I recognize that the cause of this error derived from haste. To get one project done then move on to another! If I only had help! I whisper. Perhaps the reason I enjoy YouTube videos representing slow living. Quite possibly the basis of why I have chosen to do the same.
I move toward living a complete simple and graceful life. With this, I must always remember that I don’t need another set of dishes! Beautiful dishes are the things I adore. Just the other day, I picked up a lovely set of different shades of ivory with delicate green leaves all around the edge. I so much wanted to purchase them. And then thought of a sermon I recently attended when I traveled earlier this month. I thought of what the pastor said about greed. I put the dishes back, because I remembered I should continue to collect the only set, I really want; the antique English ironstone dishes, I’ll gift to Nehemiah as heirlooms, Lord willing, when the time has come.
But let’s look at greed and how it eclipses kindness. The definition of greed is an intense selfish desire for wealth or possessions. Yet, I like the synonym A V I D I T Y, which holds the same meaning. For the sake of clarity on kindness, I find avidity to be clearer in my attempted explanation.
Although I didn’t purchase the new dishes I wanted, I did find a small plaque at the thrift store. It was fifty cents. I liked the words—Believe in Kindness but thought the beautiful pieces of wood surrounding the wording could be of some good to me to complete a current project.
When I arrived home, I had a cup of tea and then decided to start pulling the little plaque apart. Conversely, the three simple words got to my heart—Believe in Kindness. Right then, I couldn’t pull the sign to pieces, and immediately placed it on a special shelf. Every day I went to my office, this little sign pulled at me. It inspired me to really Believe!
To Believe what’s done from the kindness of the heart, is Done! No matter how kindness is received. Done! No matter no response. Done! No matter not returned. Done! No matter what. Done! Yet, in common or blatant avidity toward hardness of heart, pride, arrogance, or desires to be mute, we all have an affinity to simply accept these untruths to be of us.
- You’ve hurt me, so I’ll show you!
- You’ve ignored me, therefore, it’s my time to ignore you!
- I don’t want what you give to me, I have my own stuff!
- How do I accept this gift not expected?
- I don’t know what to say, so remaining quiet works best for me in this situation.
- To pretend kindness never happened.
Then there’s the Apostle Paul’s direction above in Ephesians 4 v. 32.
Here, Paul has instructed as believers in Christ, we must extend to others—especially to fellow believers and to those who do good works for humanity. In this vein, unpleasant relational situations should not take precedence over what we are instructed to do. Paul goes deeper by reminding us that the forgiveness and love God gave to us in Jesus, must likewise be given to others. And Jesus Himself, directs us to do the same in His stunning commandment – “As I loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13 v. 34).
There’s no love without kindness.
There’s no kindness without love.
Both are evidence of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5 vv. 22-23)
Friends, I have written these words to you, because in kindness, I continually encounter different responses– both when I’ve given and in moments I’ve received. Circumstantially, I’ve spoken on and have harped on related questions and thoughts above.
As I contemplated upon a recent outcome of kindness shared toward another, in happenstance, I came across the poem below. It portrays frustration, realization, and utter and complete love and kindness between two people.
Argument of Periapsis
We argued again today. This time? It might
have been a pot unwashed, or trash day missed—
I can’t remember—a stupid, pointless fight
as if controlled by some ventriloquist.
Slam door, start car, and leave, radio blaring.
On the highway, I head north, nowhere to go
but through the night sky, muttering and swearing.
I drive too fast to the next exit, then slow
and circle back.
Just barely healed, we’re shy,
quiet and tentative, making our way
together. Is there sound in space? We try
saying what we really mean to say.
I cannot travel very far from you—
yours is the body I am closest to.
—-Midge Goldberg (p.57).
Nerding out, some information on the actual argument of periapsis (ω), can be found here 😊
Friends let’s believe in kindness! This is indeed possible when we make Jesus the only being we are closest to. The person we cling to! In following His complete instructions on how to love each other, nothing or no one else should matter.
Repeat with me:
- There’s no love without kindness.
- There’s no kindness without love.
A well-lived life is highly dependent on these few words.
Believe in kindness!
Growing together inside and out!
Goldberg, M. (2023). Money. Plough Quarterly. No. 36 (pg. 57)
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.