Even if nobody appreciates it, is it worth it to be kind?
I feel like there are so many middle aged women who are self-made martyrs. On the playground, it’s always, “I wont give him a turn because he didn’t say please!” We refuse to pick up our toys until the playmate who helped make the mess starts helping. Kinda reminds me of Martha getting mad at Mary.
I have this friend. Well, ex-friend. One of those people in your heart, you can’t help but hold onto. Swallowing my foolish pride, I’m trying to make the best of the situation. I want the best for her. I’m going to do what I can to just be nice.
Sometimes, my sister tries to provoke me to wrath. I swear, she’ll bring up memories from high school that I cant even remember. The depression stole those memories from me, and for whatever reason, she tries to make me feel bad by citing instances where I made a fool of myself. The jokes on her, because I legitimately can’t remember. But for the most part, I put up with it, because I know that she makes fun of me to feel better about herself. Taking the bait would be to lash out at someone who’s already wounded. Not classy.
There was this one time in the last week of kindergarten where this little girl I work with strongly reprimanded me. We were all headed to the magic carpet to do the next activity (aka where they sit) and I can’t remember what it was even about. She had been sassy for a while, but because she’s a lot like me, I think she was just testing limits. Our main teacher made her apologize, and told her that it really wasn’t nice to speak that way to a teacher. She apologized. I said it was okay, and that I wasn’t mad. The next time I was there, when we were cleaning up between centers, her little arms tightly wrapped around my waist in a hug that lingered. I understand where she was coming from. And that’s a hug I will definitely remember.
I recently asked another friend from a good while ago if she would forgive me. I’m kind of a hard-ass, so being willing not just to apologize but to ASK FOR FORGIVENESS was a whole nother…well. But I did it, and you wanna know why? If I didn’t have the balls to do it then, I wasn’t gonna do it at all. So I did. And I’m glad. This friend really doesn’t have a good impression of Christians. I was just trying to show her better than she’s used to.
We all have choices to make. One of the most common lies that bothers me to no end is that people only deserve the kindness they show you. Like a Frankenstein’s monster of the Golden rule. Some how generally social niceties become excuses not to be kind to one another. If she said then I said then she said, then she’s the one who wasn’t nice to me!
But friends, is that really the best we can do? Is that your best?
We all make choices.
I don’t want perfect justice. I want grace. I want forgiveness. I want it to not be about me. Shouldn’t good things be free? Don’t we have the power to control that?
You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be willing. You don’t have to be perfect, but it’s good to try. Better doesn’t have to come today, but maybe it’s possible? Isn’t it just good to want better, even if you can’t yet achieve it? Isn’t it better to work at humbling ourselves than to be okay with complacency?
I think we can do better. There is a people alienated from the Church that want to believe in God, but we give them no evidence. Jesus is naturally appealing. The way he cared for people. The way he loved. If we woke up and allowed the Lord to change us, maybe a few more skeptics would buy into God. I for one thought believing with your whole heart was batshit crazy at one point, but I guess somethings have changed. I think that there are people out there that need us to be flexible. If church was a lot more about getting out of God’s way and a lot less about us, then we’d all be better off.