Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. – 1 Cor. 13:4-8

We are getting ready for Lent- the season of spiritual spring cleaning, a time for a bit of “heart tonic” to get the spiritual juices flowing again. I just re-read my reflection from last year which focused on inviting more kindness into our hearts. I liked it so much, I think I want to have the same focus this year. God knows, we can always use more kindness

I read this Facebook post this morning, written by Jim’s niece, Anna Lux Danforth. What a wonderful reminder of the daily need to practice the spiritual discipline of kindness:

You never, and I mean never, I really mean never, know what burdens someone is carrying.

Think twice before honking at the woman driving too slow down the highway. She may have just come from admitting her son to a rehab clinic. Think twice before shoving past the middle-aged man who is taking up too much space in the grocery aisle, aimlessly looking at labels on canned olives. He may have just gotten the news that his beloved wife has cancer. Think twice before raising your voice at the faceless-to-you woman on the other end of the phone who didn’t get your order right. She has a face. She has a name. And she may have had a miscarriage last night. Think twice before humiliating that student who is socially awkward and gave you attitude in the hallway. He may have driven his alcoholic father home from the bar last night and hasn’t eaten anything since yesterday.

 People drive too slow, take up space, mess up orders, and just do things wrong when their mind is consumed with massive burdens. You may have forgotten the time you drove too slow, took up space, messed something up, and did something wrong in your darkest hour.

 Be kind. Be radiant.

Be kind. Be radiant with love. That holy invitation could last me a lifetime of Lents.  

Still making spacing for grace,

Pastor Annette