- Religion and Philosophy
The Miracles of Kindness
" A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news brings health to the bones."
- Proverbs 15:30 NIV
A cheerful look, a gentle answer, and a timely word are just some of the simple and natural acts of kindness that we find available to us, simple tasks suggested in the book of Proverbs, tasks that hold great power and wisdom because any time we act in these ways, we are able to bring a little joy and health to where they had been missing, joy and health that we feel in our bones and our hearts. There is nothing like the feeling of a joyful heart, and we do not need to wait for some special occasion to feel this way, because the good news is that kindness is a power that is available to us each and every day.
Kindness is powerful; it is a power to which meanness is no match. It feels better to smile than to frown, better to grin than to grimace. Kindness is contagious and reflective. Anytime we throw some kindness out into the world, it is very more than likely that some will be thrown back at us, and also very likely that it will be passed around, providing joyful hearts for all who receive and witness.
Kindness is like a miracle in the way that it changes things. Cheerfully helping others, and sincere warm wishes can change the attitudes of ourselves and others. And these are more than attitudes of mind; they are attitudes of direction. Our moods improve, and so do our outlooks. Good things can happen as a result of mere smiles, kindly words, or friendly gestures.
Kindness is like a tool; with it, we can fix things; we can improve things.
Kindness is like a salve; with it, we can heal in small ways; we can soothe things.
I truly believe that we are doing God's work anytime we are being kind, increasing the good feelings of any one touched with our kindness, possibly even increasing the peace in this sometimes mean and cruel world, exposing more of its miraculous face.
I believe that kindness can behave like miracles, even like the miracles that were performed by Jesus.
In the gospel of John, Jesus is invited, along with his mother and his disciples, to a wedding celebration during which the wine runs out. With a little prompting from his mom, Jesus tells the servants to fill a few stone jars with water. After they do so, they bring some to the master of the banquet to taste. The man is quite impressed with this fine wine, which he does not know was water moments before, the wine being of much better quality than that which had been served earlier.
Kindness too can change things, and change them for the better. It can turn an undesirable situation into better one. With a mere smile and a kind word, we can change the direction of any one's day, dissipating anger and impatience, replacing it with thoughtfulness and understanding. We can offer assistance when it is not asked for and give a little extra when it is. We change meanness into kindness; we turn frowns into smiles. We create better days with our kind words and actions, creating smiles all around, smiles of true quality.
And we remember to keep in mind the love that Jesus has for us. And for those for who no wine is fine, He can easily change it back into water, a much better water than what was in those stone jugs, a refreshing, rejuvenating water, the kind that truly brings health to our bones.
At another time in John's gospel, a royal official goes to Jesus and asks him to heal his son who is very ill, the man fearing that the child might die. Jesus tells him that the boy, who did not come with his father, would live. The man believes and returns to his home, receiving on the way the good news that his son is alive and well.
Kindness also heals. It calms a hot temper, and soothes a troubled mind. Kindness makes us feel better, a wellness that is felt by anyone who witnesses or is near to any kind act. Kindness can go a long way in relieving the ill feelings that accompany meanness and anger, pettiness and spite, and the good news is that when we believe in the power of kindness, the remedy becomes more contagious than the ailment. Right here and right now, hours from now and miles away; some one is "catching" the healing effects of our simple acts of kindness.
And again we remember that Jesus has the power to heal us all, making us feel better, enabling us to help others feel better by being kind.
Once again we turn to the gospel of John, where we find Jesus preaching to a large crowed. He has the desire that they be fed, but he only has a few loaves of bread and a small amount of fish at hand. So he gives thanks for what he has; then he takes this small amount of food and passes it out among the people where it works its way through the crowd, and when the meal is finished, many baskets full of leftovers remain.
We too have the power to increase all that is good. Kindness easily works its way through any group or crowd, and beyond, bringing feelings of well being to all. And there is no limit to how far it can go, and no limit to how much it can grow.
So we too give thanks, grateful for the power to do this; we increase the joy in the world, as it comes back around to us, plentiful as ever.
"A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself."
- Proverbs 11:17 NIV
This is not about reward or punishment. It is about the choices we make everyday. Not always feeling kind, we attempt to ignore the kindness that is being directed towards us. We forget how powerful kindness can be and we feel miserable resisting the miraculous. It may also be difficult to feel kind when there is some unkindness being thrown our way. And then there is that tendency to be the most impatient and unkind to those who are closest to us. We have become the mean ones. But there is no need do to fret because kindness, being what it is, has the power to diminish meanness, perhaps even banishing it, returning joy to our hearts and health to our bones.
We hold on to kind thoughts and feelings, helping us to be kind to those who we may not always feel kindly towards because of some disagreement, or of the different ways they do things. And when we do this, we often discover just how kind these others can be to us, and this furthers our own sense of how powerful kindness can be.
When we are in this state of kindness, we can see how natural it is, a part of God's perfection, a perfection we let enter our hearts and minds
The Miracle Of Kindness
And so we continue to be kind. We become kind beings. We feel it. We practice it. We practice it on ourselves, on our loved ones, and on every one we meet. We practice with sincerity and humility. We even offer it to those who often behave meanly or cruelly, knowing that just as Jesus turned water into wine, healed the sick, and multiplied the loaves, we just may be able to turn that meanness around some, and watch the resulting kindness do its work, adding to the cheer, the health and the joy.
We choose to be kind. We possess the wisdom to do so. And we are forever thankful for this wisdom.
Gospel Reference Notes:
"Transforming" - See John 2:1-11
"Healing" - See John 4: 43-54
"Increasing" - See John 6: 1-15
Please take a moment to leave an opinion, and feel free to leave a comment as well.
Do you believe that kindness has the power to make things better in the world today?
© 2012 Paul K Francis