“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) In reading the gospels we see how Jesus served as the ultimate example of kindness. He healed the sick, shared food and drink with the poor, and spoke to the outcast and socially accepted of God’s love and grace. No one can deny the unbeatable effects of being around a truly kind person.
Few things bother me as much as the thought of any of our children being unkind to or excluding someone. Rocky and I have always stressed that a major part of Christ’s message deals with how we treat the underdog or the down-and-out. If a student was sitting alone in the cafeteria we urged our kids to be aware and to offer company. All three have no tolerance for bullies.
Most of us have heard the term “random acts of kindness.” People who make these a habit actually report better health, less stress, and greater happiness. A quote often attributed to Mark Twain says “kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
February 14-20 is “Random Acts of Kindness Week.” I saw a great idea for Advent that could be modified for Lent. Parents or grandparents could individually number forty brown paper bags and come up with forty specific good deeds to be done locally. The ideas could be as easy as writing a hand-written note to an elderly neighbor or washing someone’s windshield or leaving change in the bubble gum machine. Each day, starting with Ash Wednesday on February 10 the child(ren) could open one bag to read one act of kindness. The adult(s) might have to help these tasks to get performed. During family time on Easter Sunday the children should have many insights to relay regarding the forty days of sharing.
Just imagine the impact Christians could have in Farmville by actively showing God’s kindness during Lent. “Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.” (George Sand)