Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Pause in Lent - Notes on Kindness

Welcome to this week's Pause in Lent. You'll find the other people joining in on the list to your left. We're thinking about the Cardinal Virtues for Lent 2012 - even in the first week this provided scope for a huge variety of ideas, but also some over-arching themes - I wonder what everyone else has been thinking about this week?
For me the virtue which seemed to be most 'flagged up' this week was kindness. Here is Charley Harper's stylish and charming 'Cardinal Courtship' to illustrate the idea:
This week my Lent readings mentioned kindness, and my life required it. This morning Christophe, one of our preachers, preached on Paul's letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 4. He was very interesting, and very relevant, and so for my Lent pause I'm going to write for you the things I scribbled down in my notebook during the sermon. Some of the thoughts come directly from the Bible reading (translated from the French I heard). Others are Christophe's (also translated!) and some are mine:
'Integrity means wholeness. If we do not have integrity in our lives, our lives are in danger of cracking.'
It's in my nature to be kind to a lot of people. I am naturally kind to dyslexic learners struggling to understand (it's my profession!). I am kind to people, anywhere in the world, who are struggling against difficult odds.
'Who can pretend to have attained the goal?'
It's in my nature to be unkind to a lot of people. I can't stand whiners. I don't like people who won't make an effort. I am naturally unkind with people who appear to have it all but still don't appear to make anything of it. This means I am unkind to myself (remember what Jane wrote last week?) and to my family too - we have so much, what are we whining about? I feel we could do anything, and shouldn't fail..!
"Put off your old nature."
The natural kindness of Floss is a good start. But it's imperfect and of limited understanding. Put off the limits to my human kindness. Take on the unlimited Loving Kindness of God, beginning with me, beginning with my family.
'God does not abandon us. It is he who gives us the power to change.'
'His Loving Kindness is recreated in us by the Holy Spirit.'


Jane and Chris said...

I'm struggling with a true definition of kindness.
Jane x

Floss said...

Hi Jane - well, for me, my thoughts on kindness were prompted by reading the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, so I think that's what was in my mind as a definition this week.

Purrfect Haven said...

I am sharing in Josies lovely idea too... your shots are great, and I always enjoy visiting :-) Helen xx

Pom Pom said...

Hi Floss! Yes, to be the recipient of the greatest kindness, that of the Shepherd. He defines kindness and compassion. I feel drawn to the kind ones, to be in their company.

magsmcc said...

Very encouraged by the power to change and by the essential reminder that it's the Spirit moving who makes that possible. These posts really are the best antidote to Sunday night blues- especially when we remember not to whinge!!

Grateful4Crochet said...

This is a beautiful post= thank you for sharing it!
One of my favourite quotes on kindness says something like "be kind to everyone you meet, for everyone is carrying a burden", its by Plato, and those are not the exact words, I have the quote on my desk at work to remind me to be gentle.
Your post has also reminded me of that, so thanks again

Kaye Swain said...

Lovely food for thought for this Sunday. Thanks for another sweet Pause in Lent 2012. Have a blessed week.

Fiona said...

A lovely post.

Nancy McCarroll - Arts, Crafts and Favorites said...

Can SO relate to dislike of whiners. They are the ones who need love and "listeners" the most. And they are those to whom I must give the most compassion and an ear . So hard. Thank you for your reinforcement.

Betty said...

Yes, Floss whiners I can manage but not needy people who will not help themselves! Some folk I think just cannot see what they have become and have ceased to think for themselves = they do need help and compassion to believe in themselves - they are hard work and I do try, so I do identify what you feel too! Betty

Mommy en France said...

Thanks for this post. Kindness and patience are much in my thoughts this Lent. Both are hard to practice, with others and towards yourself as well. I heard an excellent sermon in February about being proactive rather than reactive (drawing on the story in 2 Kings 5) and I think it works in so many ways in life. Rather than react to the shortcomings I see in others' (real or imagined), I know I need to try to be proactive, to love them and be kind.

Alex said...

I like the Plato comment from grateful4Crochet, because, if we could see the suffering in people that leads to their actions, we would have more compassion and be kinder.

Alex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

The deleted comment was me - only because I accidentally posted mine twice! :)

Carolyn Phillips said...

I found this very interesting to read, esp coming straight from Dormouse's post, the two go together very well.