Monday, November 06, 2006

Kindness continued

Psalm 145: 8
“The Lord is gracious and compassionate slow to anger and rich in love”.

For me the whole kindness thing has grown, I know it’s nothing new and really something we should all be anyway. I think however that it is a growing mandate for the church.

It started with servant evangelism, churches and organisations working out ways to bless their communities by serving them. It has happened on a large scale in Manchester England and on a smaller scale throughout the country. The church I was involved in back in the UK DC3 did things like a community service week, were by we did jobs in our area for free for a week. Other churches like Northdown CFC have taken this further with a whole ministry called community works. There are countless other projects like this around the world all doing wonderful things.

Then there is another level; I feel that communal acts of kindness to a community are fantastic. But we also need to be personally kind, we need to be kind at all times. I have been challenging people to do this for a while. It’s my own journey as well not something I have completely sussed but definitely a road I am travelling.

Why does this all sound so simple? The challenge is to commit random acts of kindness on a daily basis.

Here are some examples: My friend Steve went up to the complaints desk in a supermarket and said “is this were people come to complain?” the receptionist gave a resigned “yes” and then Steve said “Can I just say I have had wonderful morning in your store, your new CD department is great and I love the wide range of DVD’s you sell” the lady was gob smacked and even asked him to write it down.
Simple isn’t it.

I told a lady in a shop the other day, that her hair looked great, I did it in a non-chatting up kind of way, but I left her with a smile.

Two girls I know, Hannah and Rebecca, spent the other day hanging out in a car park buying peoples car park tickets for them! Heres what they told me about their time: “The people we tried to help were not used to people giving and they were surprised, this helps depict that we live in a world that is constantly taking rather than giving and that has to change. God enabled us to have the means to give and provided those opportunities; he had a purpose for us being there. We know we can't stop at that level of random acts of kindness and aim to continue with God spurring us on to do more.”

I had a pastor of a church phone me on Sunday and say that it’s costing him a fortune his young people keep buying flowers and giving them out on the streets of Hereford.

Is it just a gimmick? Do we just do this to make ourselves feel good?

I don’t personally think so; I believe firstly that this appeals to a “Jackass TV” and “Dirty Sanchez” viewing generation. Secondly I believe that it is a beginning, a next step, taking it further than just a church initiative that we do once a week or once a year. It’s about a generation integrating kindness into their lives.

If you need inspiration check out The random acts of kindness foundation slightly cheesy but okay.

Heres what wikipedia says: A random act of kindness or RAoK is a selfless act performed by kind people to either help or cheer up a random stranger, for no reason other than to make people happier. Either spontaneous or planned in advance, RAoKs are encouraged by various communities.

The phrase is a modification, or mangling, of "Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty", coined by Anne Herbert, as well as a play on the phrase "random act of violence".

Buy the book Random Acts of Kindness by Danny Wallace

Of course there is another level, once we get over the fear of being random, we can ask a really kind question:

“Is there anything I can pray with you about?”

More tomorrow

By the way, there is nothing new under the sun.....


Anonymous said...

i think you have to be careful that planned acts of kindness do not become a chore your heart must be in it. don't just follow the crowd. paul xxx

J-Mac said...

You definately inspired the young methodist folk with this Brian. I hear they were on Lurgan street giving out pizza after being with you at Autumn Soul!

Adrian Eagleson said...

brian, i liked your comments from the other days on lost, if it is your journey then continue to reflect on it, if we as leaders can't take it then it has to do more with what it says about us. it is good to be provoked and stirred up, we are all big people and need fresh perspectives on what we are doing with our time

Anonymous said...

hey brian really enjoyed autumn soul this year i got so much from it and so did some of the young people i was with. thank you so much i will be prayin 4 u hope ur year ahead is a good one love and Godbless, jenni Newtownards xo

Anonymous said...

hey brian

the kindness thing really did stick with the young people at autumn soul - we're having a wee night on Sunday night at our youth group to think about in the lead up to Christmas how we can be kind in our community! excited! Gillian

A2J said...

Hi, I am an avid reader of your blog and find it provides endless encouragement and shows that God is evident within your life!. You really are instigated an amazing movement to continue, you are changing the mood of many young people from apathy to passion, a passion instilled to help others and make a difference.. Thanks so much!!!