Kindness

I couldn’t find in the dictionary a satisfying definition of kindness. The synonyms I found were a little bit more relatable to an understanding of what this is. I found that generosity, charity sympathy, compassion and tenderness are some of those things that are compared to kindness.

 The word of God calls us to be kind to one another and to love one another, including our enemies. I think this is where it gets tricky. Loving our families and friends is almost normal, even on our bad days. Loving someone who is not particularly nice to us or that has hurt us can be a very challenging thing. However I learned first hand the power of how a kind heart can change your relationship with someone who right now you wish you didn’t even have to see.

Years ago, I worked with this lady. To my recollection I had not done anything to her and she had not done anything to me; but it was obvious to me that my presence was a thorn in her life. She would try to avoid any kind of interaction with me. If she had to talk to me, her tone would show her frustration in our interaction. I’m the type of person who tries to be liked, so the situation didn’t sit well with me. For months I prayed that whatever was bothering her life would be lifted, that she would be blessed, that she would find the love of God; I didn’t know if she was a believer or not.

One day, I was having a personal trial. She came to my desk and said “ I know I’m not your friend, but if you need someone to talk to, know that I’m here for you”. It totally blew my mind. Before she left my desk she left a small box. Inside the box there was a little plaque that to this day stays with me wherever I go. The plaque read, “there’ nothing that God and I can’t resolve together”.  It was double amazing for me and totally spirit lifting. The message in the plaque had given me hope and it came from the person I least expected. I will say that after that day our relationship changed. I’m not saying that she became my best friend, but we were able to talk amicably and if memory serves we went to dinner once within a group of friends.

 What act of kindness can you do today for someone whose personality or actions rub you the wrong way? Are you willing to make an impact in someone’s life, just by providing a smile? Take the challenge, it’s always rewarding.

Blessings

Naty

Traditions

Traditions are those beliefs and/or customs that have been passed down from generation to generation. One of the best examples is our celebration of Christmas. We celebrate Christmas on December 25th, as the day that Jesus was born, but historically it has been agreed that he was born closer to the month of April. You can hear people say that you can’t celebrate Christmas without a tree or decorations; the truth is those are merely distractions, there were no trees or decorations at the manger when Jesus was born.

 Traditions have colored the way we do things and have distracted us from the real meaning. In terms of holidays, I boycotted traditional Christmas last year and don’t get me started on Easter. All my readers have five minutes to explain to me the relationship between eggs, bunnies and the resurrection… Go ahead, I can wait!

 There are people who have chosen careers because it’s a tradition in their family for everyone to be a doctor, a teacher, a lawyer, or a policeman.  Some people go to a certain college because that’s where their family members went, not because it has the best program for their interests.

God made us unique. He took his time to form each and every one of us, and every one of us has See full size imagea different purpose in the body of Christ. Following traditions, in my humble opinion, are not either good or bad, unless of course the tradition harms the person or others; but it’s not necessary in the implementation of God’s plan for us. We need to ask ourselves what opportunities we have wasted because that’s not what we usually do, the way we usually do it, or the way the people around us did it?

How about when our blessing comes in a different package than what we are used to or expecting, and because we’re not familiar with it we pass it right by? Can you believe that the greatest lesson of marital love I learned from a homeless man? I was part of a ministry that was feeding the homeless. This man came to our line and grabbed his portion of food; something in him caught my attention. All the others sat in front of where we were and ate, he ran with his food to hide. Another person from the ministry and I followed him at a distance, his wife was under some boxes sleeping, probably after heavy drug use. She was very weak, he told her that he had brought her something and lifts her head up with his arms and started feeding her his food. We told them that we had enough for him to eat too. He thanked us but told us that he had come to the line just to make sure that she would get something to eat.  When I think about how a husband should love his wife, I think of them. It was not wrapped up in the prettiest package, but it blessed me. How many lessons or blessings have we missed because of our pre-conceived notions and traditions?