I am judgmental. Selfish. I just don’t care about anything or anyone, including God. Powerful huh, didn’t expect that did you? Keep reading!
“People gathered together and wrote individual kind messages on each one of those tissue papers and then someone glued them individually on the ceiling to create this beautiful picture of all the kindness we can do for each other.“
I am a Christ-follower, I don’t do everything perfectly, nor do I pretend that everything is fantastic in my life. I can admit my faults, I can face my failures. Can you? You and everyone around you are not in my head fighting a battle that I go to bed with and wake up with every single day. No, I don’t need your counseling referrals or encouraging messages telling me everything is going to be ok. I know everything is going to be ok, and I know that I will make it through this journey.
Because I believe. Because I can. Because I will.
Some may not believe, some may not have a slight glimpse of hope. For those who are not Christ-followers, or have a different religion that touches their heart, this is for you as well. There is zero judgment here. I am not going to pursue you to follow my Jesus. My role as a Christ-follower is to be an example and love unconditionally. (Side note, there is a difference between love and like, I do love everyone, but I don’t like the behaviors of everyone, therefore, I don’t associate with everyone).
Christianity has left a sour taste with many people. Believers and non-believers wonder why? Could it be that the churches are setting the example of being the judge and jury of how you live your life, who you love, or where you live, your job, or even tell you that you must “do” because that’s what you’re called to do as a Christian? I know this sounds harsh, mean, and not Christ-like, it’s the truth that of course, no one wants to hear, read or acknowledge. Regardless, it is what it is. That’s not my message here today, however, there is relevance to what I am about to share.
The featured picture here has a hidden message. Recently I visited a small town a couple hours from me, called Mt. Dora, Florida. Small, quaint, beautiful town that has so much to offer. You should visit sometime! The kindness from this town is beyond words. We walked around town and visited many shops. One shop I will never forget, the first thing I noticed…the ceiling. When I asked the lady at the desk about the ceiling, she says to me, “people gathered together and wrote individual kind messages on each one of those tissue papers and then someone glued them individually on the ceiling to create this beautiful picture of all the kindness we can do for each other.“ Tiny pieces of tissue paper created by the gentle hands of other people who wanted to leave a clear message. The magnitude of the creative artwork in writing these messages and then gluing these delicate tissues of kindness is beyond what I can imagine. The message, however, speaks volumes. There is always a Message from Above. Look up!
Where is your message coming from? Harsh words are easy, kindness takes effort, practice, and consistency. Being kind means taking time and focus away from yourself to show someone else love. Ellen DeGeneres always says, “Be kind to one another”. Her smile, message and ability to bring laughter to our world is infectious and simple, it’s about being kind. Tim McGraw has a song called, “Humble and Kind”. There is a line in his song that says, “don’t take for granted the love this life gives you and when you get where you’re goin’, don’t forget to turn back around. Help the next one in line”. These are simple reminders, that it only takes a second to reach your hand out and offer a little bit of kindness that will go a long way. You’re never so high on the ladder that you can’t fall. Kindness pays a bigger reward.
Now your probably wondering what Christianity has to do with this right? Not all Christians are Christ-followers, what does that mean? Anyone can call themselves a Christian, but are they following Christ, are they building a relationship with Christ, are they building a relationship with others without stipulations, are they learning to be like Christ? Some deep questions to ask ourselves. Where is your message coming from? As a Christ-follower is your message coming from your Christ-like heart, or your human heart? As a non-believer, what touches your heart to extend a kind message to someone? Religion doesn’t define your message; your heart and the kindness you extend to others is what will change this world from a selfish, judgmental, instant gratification world.
Remember all messages come from above, look up and show a little kindness, regardless of your religion, your faith, or your circumstances, it pays to show a little kindness.
May you have a Garment of Grace cover you,
Photo credit: Connie Ann Farmer, Mt. Dora, Florida Under the Cherry Blossoms