My wife and I had the life-changing opportunity to hike the Camino de Santiago in Spain last fall.
The Camino is really a metaphor for life’s journey. Along the way people scribble various thoughts, quotes and sayings. One favorite was “Imagine a world without countries.” Wouldn’t that have amazing implications!? Meditate on that one. That would happen only if we genuinely cared about each other.
The second was simple and forthright—in all caps, “BE KIND.” It was painted on a retaining wall (see pic).
Not a new concept for any of us, yet it held a startling freshness for me. Simple. Compelling. Potent.
Ephesians 4:32 reminds us of the power of this action. The King James version is especially memorable, “Be ye kind.”
I had to ask myself, “Am I kind?” It is hard, because none of us want to see ourselves as mean or ill-willed. We tend to see ourselves as more benevolent than we really are.
Would your spouse label you as kind? Would your children or close family members have the word “kind” come to mind when defining you? Would your neighbor, work associates and the checker at Walmart think of the word “kind” when describing you?
Sometimes our anger or annoyance with others creates a blast radius that leaves a toxic taste in the mouths of those around us. Kindness draws others in, places their needs on the top shelf—ahead of our own needs and wants.
Be ye kind. Lord, help us to be kind to those we struggle to be kind to…