Sunday, January 3, 2010

Kindness, 2009.

Today is Epiphany Sunday, and before I turn the lights out on the day, I had to write a blog with reference to the testimony I gave at church tonight and explain myself in writing so I don't forget the things I learned.

To give you a little context:

I go to a church called First Saints Community Church. It is a multi-campus church, and we have four campuses. The campus I attend is The Refinery. It's a pretty amazing place, pretty tight knit, very artistic and organic, and just downright cool. I've learned more about God and community and loving people for who they are there than at any other time in my life, but I digress.

Every year on Epiphany Sunday at The Refinery (this is the third year of the tradition), we draw stars from a basket. On each star is written a Fruit of the Spirit (you can find these in Galatians 5:22 - 23 in the Bible): love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. Our pastor prays over the baskets of stars, and then everyone draws a star, without looking, from the basket, and this is to be our fruit of focus for the year.

Last year, on Epiphany Sunday, I drew the star of kindness.

At first I was a little stunned. I thought I had always been a "nice" person. I didn't think I had all that much to work on in the kindness department.

Little did I know...

Shaving my head was something that happened just a few short weeks after I drew that star, and as you, my readers know, I had a lot to learn.

How I was treated by others was so appalling and surprising to me - how they stared, how they whispered, how they said blatantly mean things right in front of my face as though I was in another room... those things hurt - wounded - but also taught me.

I wondered how many times I had stared at someone like that - without remorse - just stared at the person who dressed a little differently. How many times as a kid I had said, in a sarcastic voice "Is that a boy or a girl?" How many times had I laughed at someone behind his or her back, to his or her face, judged someone I had never spoken to - assumed things I did not understand - how many times had I forgotten that the person moving slowly in the grocery line was a person, and not just an inconvenience to me at the time. That the clerk had a life, love, passions - wasn't just a face behind the counter doing a job. That the waitress depended on her paycheck. That everyone has their baggage, their pain, their joy, their love - and I am not the one to judge them. It is my mission to be kind to ALL.

I thought that kindness was about how you treated people directly. Now I know that it is about seeing people with the eyes of Jesus - seeing them as his children - seeing them as HIM. Namaste - the spirit that lives in you - this is what we should see when we look at another human being. Jesus. A person. Someone who is literally God breathed - no matter what their present circumstances.

I hope that I can remember this lesson and continue with kindness in faith.

This year I chose the star of love. I can only imagine what the year might bring.


Sister C said...

Hi Missy I liked you writing. It sounds like you have a fantastic church. Thanks for linking me in through the follow.
God will bless as you love more this year,

Missy said...


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