First Friday: Kindness, Please

Kindness

For the last fourteen days, I have sung the following refrain,

“Kindness, please.”

Versions of it have come and gone…

“Kind hands.”

“Kind feet.”

“Kind words.”

“Kind voices.”

“Kind <anything else that could inflict emotional or bodily harm.>”

But underneath each, the pulse has remained unmistakably consistent.

“Kindness, please.”

Now even among our kind “fails,” we have had a few shining moments of success.

Where gentleness reigned, love was demonstrated, and I was more moved to take a video for posterity than I was to choke down Advil by the dozen. Where I stopped, put down what I was doing and could not tear my eyes away because where kindness is, beauty is.  And you cannot help but pause in its presence.

In that breath, that pause, that consideration, I wonder…

Is it this rare beauty that motivates us as parents to teach and re-teach “how to be kind” until we’re absolutely spent?

Why we will say, “Kindness, please,” until we are blessedly blue in the face? Why we will choke down the Advil and venture into the ugly armed with, “Kind words?” Why we will hold down flailing appendages with all our unimpressive strength and utter, “Kind feet?”

It just may be.

Because when we do, when our kids demonstrate deliberate kindness and tenderness toward one another, a Jesus beauty comes in its wake. It is the sweet-tasting fruit of an effort well-worth the struggle it demands. And it is this sweet something that causes me to ask the hard questions of myself at the beginning of this New Year.

Why do I strive so readily to grow in my children a heart of kindness, but when it comes to my own words, my own hands and my own heart, I act as though it doesn’t apply to me?

Why do I leave kindness tucked in Ephesians and pretend as though, “Be kind to one another,” is simply child’s play?

Why do I allow the mean to rule in me?

Because, sweet friends, the answer is unencumbered and simple:

It’s easier to be mean.

It’s easier to sling words of anger than offer truth in love. It’s easier to shove opinions down the throats of others than consider that I might not be as all-knowing as the Creator I claim to serve. It’s easier to react than to respond.

It’s. Easier.

And after listening to my own mean over the past few weeks and watching the Christian community sling words back and forth in a time where we should have been fixated on a Savior coming, I am saddened that we have left kind to our kids and we as adults have picked up the mean.

Kindness is not weakness, friends. Kindness takes effort and thought and consideration and work. Kindness is not the easy way out.

Mean is.

And I cannot help but wonder as He saw us battle each other and the world He found worthy of His Son, if there were tears in the eyes of a Father.

If He bent down and began a refrain that started in a whisper,

“Kind hands. Kind hearts. Kind words.”

But then grew and grew into a resounding shout,

“Kind hands. Kind hearts. Kind words.”

Trumpeting His kids into the wake of this New Year,

“KIND HANDS. KIND HEARTS. KIND WORDS.”

Pressing a long-needed pulse into our very souls,

That earnestly sings and salves,

In the powerful voice of our Creator,

So that we may heed our own words,

“Kindness, please.”

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

~ Ephesians 4:32

Sara Cormany guest posts on the first Friday of each month. Sara is mommy to six-year-old Grace, four-year-old Drew and one-year-old Sophie.  When she is not wiping noses, changing diapers or chasing her kids, she is a sometimes writer and a sometimes teacher to teenagers.  But her most cherished role is that of one who is perfectly held by Jesus. She loves watching Him take the broken, the messy and the seemingly mundane of her everyday and turn it into something beautiful. She recently began her own blog called Where Feet May Fail. Be sure to check it out.

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