Try a Little Kindness
The American mass shootings are causing so much frustration and distress among those of us who feel powerless to do anything about it. We can sign petitions, vote lawmakers out, boycott stores, write letters to our congressmen, rant and rave on social media, but none of it feels effective.
My friend Paula Harrington posted this on FB this week. Her daughter was in the Marshall Co school shooting.
I hate the words “active shooter”. I know first hand the fear they instill. I know what’s it like to be so afraid you can’t breathe, think, or even pray. So let’s do something about it. Something real and tangible. Yes, I believe those who can make laws should but I don’t believe they will, so love your neighbor, bless those who persecute you, forgive those who offend you, go the extra mile, overtip the waiter, let the car in front of you merge, be graceful and kind, make eye contact and smile, tell people they matter. Seek out and radically love people who do life completely differently from you. Make the world a better place while you’re here.
Amen, sister. Paula is a children’s minister and works in the Lone Oak schools holding Bible clubs for the kids. She sees the wounded, the poor, the fragile and has the chance to show them grace and kindness while they are vulnerable and malleable. I’m glad she’s there.
But we are also where God wants us to be, wherever that is, showing this love and grace to whomever He puts in our path. Here’s a poignant poem, “Famous,” from Naomi Shihab Nye. It’s short, so read it. This is the stanza I love:
I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.
I can’t say we will stop mass shootings if we show kindness. We’ve got to deal with the accumulated hatred of these guys that is fueled and aggravated by online sites. But kindness IS one huge piece of the puzzle. And it’s one we’ve got control over.
Romans 12:14,17,18 “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. . . . Do not repay anyone evil for evil. . . .If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”