Have you noticed a new mandate going around these days? Due to the spreading virus of public rudeness and spite, there is an uprising of reminders to be kind.
You hear it everywhere. Be kind. Do random acts of kindness. Be kind to animals. Be kind to yourself.
Actually it’s not new. I remember as a kid being taught Ephesians 4:32 in the King’s English: “Be ye kind, one to another, tender-hearted and forgiving one another. . .”
And we older folks sang along with Glen Campbell, didn’t we? You got to try a little kindness, show a little kindness . . . (Anybody singing with me?)
In Bolivia, after someone serves you at a store, restaurant, doctor’s office, bank, or anywhere, it is customary to say, with a little nod of your head and a smile, “Gracias. Muy amable.”
Translation: “Thank you, that was very kind of you.”
Isn’t that nice? I love it. And it’s not that hard, is it?
To be kind means to be gracious.
Tender-hearted and forgiving, like the Bible says.
In the span of two years, two movies about the same man have been made, and both well-received and successful, I think, because we are hungry for more kindness in our world and we appreciate his shining example.
I for one would like to be gracious, helpful, compassionate, tender-hearted and forgiving like Mr. Rogers.
There is a story in the Old Testament that would make a good movie. It is one of my favorite Bible stories, found in 2 Samuel, chapters 9 and 19, and as I was meditating on it last week, the theme of kindness encouraged me.
I would call the movie Tenderheart. ( In contrast to Braveheart :o) )
There would be three main characters: King David, the tenderhearted King who wanted to show God’s kindness, Ziba. a deceptive servant, and Mephibosheth, a royal prince by birth, but whose heart is full of fear and self-loathing (he refers to himself as a ‘dead dog’).
It’s a great story.
And the movie script could weave in two other biblical stories with the same theme of showing unmerited kindness, two well-known stories Jesus told: “The Good Samaritan” and “The Prodigal Son,” (which, by the way, I wish was titled “The Loving Father”, for he is the main point of the story.)
All three of these biblical stories explain Christianity in brief.
Jesus is the original Tenderheart. He is the kind king, the rich Samaritan, and the waiting father who desires to show grace and kindness to all people who will acknowledge him.
Jesus loves the lame and fearful (Mephibosheth), the wounded and helpless (the man beat up by thieves) and the selfish and arrogant (Ziba, the servant, and both the prodigal son and his elder brother).
I can relate to all those characters. I have experienced much grace and kindness from God.
And I for one would like to be as gracious, helpful, compassionate, tender-hearted and forgiving as Jesus.
Yes, I think it would make an inspiring movie.
And maybe Glen Campbell’s song could play through the credits. :o)
You can listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvswocNN-g8
A blast from the past :o)
Try A Little Kindness by Glen Campbell
If you see your brother standing by the road
With a heavy load from the seeds he’s sowed
And if you see your sister falling by the way
Just stop and say, you’re going the wrong way
You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you’ll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets
Don’t walk around the down and out
Lend a helping hand instead of doubt
And the kindness that you show every day
Will help someone along their way