" A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news brings health to the bones."
-- Proverbs 15:30
A cheerful look, a gentle answer, and a timely word are just a few of the simple and natural acts of kindness. With kindness, we have the ability to bring a little joy and health to where they may have been missing. This ability is available for use each and every day.
Kindness is a power for which meanness is no match. It feels better to smile than to frown, better to grin than to grimace. Kindness is contagious. Anytime we put some kindness out into the world, it is very likely that it will spread, providing joyful hearts for all who witness.
Miracles are about making things better. Kindness does the same. Pleasant words and helpful deeds affect attitudes and dispositions, improving moods and outlooks. Good things happen when smiles, kindly words, and friendly gestures abound. Kindness is like a tool. With it, we can fix things. It can act like a salve with which we can use to soothe things. Anytime we are being kind, we are doing God's work. And God works in miracles. And when we think of miracles, we often think of the works of 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 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.
And for those for whom no wine is fine, Jesus can easily change old water into new, a water of a much better quality than that which was poured into those stone jugs, a refreshing, rejuvenating water, the kind that brings health to the 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; someone 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 number 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
This is the nature of kindness. It is about everyday choices. Not always feeling kind, we might ignore any kindness being directed towards us. We forget how powerful kindness can be and we feel miserable attempting to resist 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 for us to be unkind, through our impatience, to those who are closest to us. We have become the mean ones. But there is no need 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 and pay attention whenever we see kindness doing its work in the world. This helps us to be kind to all, including those who we may not always felt 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 they can be to us, and this deepens our own feelings of kindness, and increases the kind thoughts that we experience. When we are in this state of kindness, we see how natural it is, a part of the goodness that is of God's love.
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 everyone we meet. We practice with sincerity and humility. We offer it to those who often behave meanly. 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. And we are forever thankful.
Gospel Reference Notes:
TRANSFORMING - See John 2:1-11
HEALING - See John 4: 43-54
INCREASING - See John 6: 1-15
© 2012 Paul K Francis