Simple acts in complicated times

Sad.

I have spent four days trying to think of a more intelligent sounding word—a more descriptive adjective—to describe my overall melancholy. I’m a writer. Surely I can write a more profound word than sad.

But I cannot.

For at the core of my being I am most definitely and unequivocally sad.

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Frustrated? Yes.

Angry? Absolutely.

Surprised? Well, no, not really….

I’ve wanted to write about recent abhorrent events, not because I feel I have anything earth-shaking to add, but because 1) writing is how I process things and 2) remaining silent seems wrong.

However, forming words, thoughts and sentences has been a challenge for me.

For how do you process the incomprehensible? And what do you say when there are so many saying so much?

And so I pondered, I prayed and I waited.

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I waited to hear God’s voice more than my own thoughts.

I pondered how such evil can seem to go unchecked; how some people can hate their fellow humans for no reason other than the level of pigmentation found in a bunch of epidermal cells; how people consumed with hate and evil can dare to bring the Name of Jesus into their supposed “cause”; and what on earth we (those who love and cling to the real Jesus and seek to follow Him) can do in response to such hate and evil.

And I prayed for wisdom, for self-control, for understanding. I prayed to love others more and to have the courage to show that love. And I prayed for an action-item—something tangible to do, a way to stand up for good and to fight against evil.

I asked God to reveal to me a glimpse of Jesus in this mess.

Now, not to try and bring back certain bracelet movement that swept the country during my high school years or anything, but I found myself asking, “Jesus, what would you be doing if you once again took on flesh and walked among our streets today?”

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The answer I heard whispered to my heart over and over again was, “Be kind.”

As profound as the word sad, right?

I will confess to wanting to hear something more.

More specific…

More engaging….

More tweet-able….

But over and over again I heard “Be kind.”

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And as I thought about it….I realized, “Well, what else would Jesus be doing?” In fact, couldn’t His entire earthly ministry be described as His demonstrating kindness to broken, lost, hate-filled people?

His presence on this earth – kind.

His willingness to touch the untouchable, to love the unlovable, to speak to the rejected, to heal the broken, to shine the light of truth to those trapped in darkness – kind.

His willingness to give up His life for ours – kind.

His victory over death – kind.

Yes, maybe kindness is an action item. And maybe kindness holds a key to overcoming this melancholy in which I feel trapped.

So today I want to be on the lookout for opportunities to be kind.

I want to be intentional with my pursuit of kindness, which means I need to be in a constant state of prayer, asking God to reveal who needs kindness and what that kindness will look like in that moment.

But I can easily fall into my comfortable, hermit-like routine, and so the pursuit of kindness is going to take effort.

But I just have to do something! Don’t you?

Even if that something is as small as letting someone else go first in line; giving a smile to one who looks down; as big as sharing the Gospel if the Spirit leads; or something in-between, like offering to help carry a bag; or showing grace when I want to complain…..

I want to show this world what Jesus looks like—as imperfect and skewed of an image as that will unfortunately will be.

But I think He will be pleased by His children trying to show His kindness to a world in chaos.

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And I think He will take our little and make it much.

So, while we wait for the more profound words and the more lasting change, let’s find one person and show them the kindness of Christ. And maybe, just maybe, we will begin affecting the more profound…

Much love,
Jen

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6 Replies to “Simple acts in complicated times”

  1. Great post! It starts with being kind to one another for sure. Also, Dear White Christian by Aaron Layton was recommended to me by my parents. Their pastor just had their church read it. Informing ourselves is another thing we can do. Another simple thing to do is to VOTE with kindness in mind. If only there was a political party that stood for that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share these other “simple” yet profound things we can do in the midst of these complicated times! I’m going to try find the book you referenced and start reading it. Thanks!

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  2. Thank you , Jen for expressing my own thoughts so well! I agree with you in my heart and soul. I am seeking the quiet yet profound moments to speak truth and love into my family, friends, acquaintances, and even total strangers. You inspire me!

    Liked by 1 person

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