Advent 2: Be Kind

For a while I had a favourite quotation under my email ‘signature’

‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is facing some kind of battle’

I believe it is a quote from Philo.  It’s come back to me again in the last two days in the face of the tragic suicide of the nurse humiliated by the Australian DJ’s. How desperately, desperately sad.  What  a stark reminder that we cannot blunder our way through life making fun of out of other people’s responsibilities and forgetting their fragility.

For we are all fragile and we are all flawed. I feel as sorry for the DJs whose naive thoughtlessness has left them with a huge burden of guilt they will have to live with for the rest of their lives. And who of us are not equally capable of ‘naive thoughtlessness’?

(Oh dear, I’m still in a lamenting mood! Sorry for the lack of seasonal cheer).

So something encouraging from Eugene Peterson’s Christ Plays in a Thousand Places:

‘God, it turns out, does not require good people in order to do good work’ (So that’s a relief, then) …

‘A sin defined history understands history as primarily the experience of what men and women do, some better than us, some worse. Both the statistics and stories are appalling: cruelty, hurt, injuries, betrayal… There bright spots to be sure, but even the bright spots are compromised by bad faith, corrupt motives… ignorant good intentions. By contrast, a salvation defined history accepts all the sin evidence but penetratingly discerns the sovereignty of God and the work of salvation ‘in, through, and under it all’.

In other words, we all need redeeming, forgiving and putting back on our feet and none of us can do this by ourselves. We don’t need explanation or information, we need transformation. And this comes from God.

Ephesians 4:32 ‘And be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another…’

‘Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind’. Henry James

heart mind

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