Jen Hatmaker is one of my favorite people to follow. Not in a weird creepy way, but in a social media stalker way — which I guess can still be a little creepy! I follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, her blog, and I read her books. I love that she tells it like it is, and it’s always coated with a lot of humor. We need more of that in this world! This week I have been reading her most recent book For the Love.
I love that Jen makes me hysterically laugh (while my husband looks at me with side eyes) one minute, then I’m crying crocodile tears the next. I’m not even finished with this book yet, but I highly recommend it! I MUST share a bit of what I read from her this week. In one of the chapters she writes a letter to her five children telling them her hopes and dreams for them. She begins talking about how she hopes her children are kind. She hopes they see those people who are hurting and they actually reach out to them. Let me share this excerpt from that chapter:
“I hope you see them. This is harder than it sounds; you have to learn to see hurt people, because they figure out how to act invisible. Kindness needs recipients. The whole world is filled with lonely and left-out and humiliated and sad kids, and seeing them is the first step. Because they are just as precious as you. If you can learn this, it will change your life because you’ll develop eyes for pain, which is exactly how Jesus walked around on this earth. If your mercy radar is strong now, God can do anything with you later. My dream is that you see hurting kids and do the simple, brave work of kindness.”
Wow. This strikes my heartstrings. Don’t you feel like this world could use a lot more kindness? We are all sinners born into a dark world. We have to learn to see people with kind eyes. Sometimes that’s extremely challenging to do. But Jesus did it. He lived it. He was kindness to everyone. He was kind to the lepers, the lame, and the blind. He was kind to the outcasts. He was kind to the little children. He was kind to women. He was kind to His disciples. He was honest, yet kind with the Pharisees and chief priests. He was gentle and kind to those who mocked and spit on Him. He was kind to Judas the betrayer. He was kind to all His enemies. He was and IS kind. He sees the hurting, and He shows them kindness. Genuine kindness.
After all, Jesus possesses all the fruits of the spirit and kindness is among those fruits. We must exude kindness just as Jesus did if we are truly Christ followers.
Do you see the homeless person begging in the streets? Do you see the single mother, struggling to wrangle her children at the grocery store? Do you see the quiet co-worker who goes to lunch alone? Do you see the lonely, the outcasts, those sitting in darkness?
There’s something to be said for some kindness. It makes us feel good when we are the recipients of kindness, and we should be exuding kindness to others. I pray that I am kind and that both of my boys will see those hurting and show them kindness as well. I pray they will accept the outcasts into their friend groups, stand up for those who get trampled over, and show the kindness of Christ to all.
Sometimes the homeless person needs a simple meal and someone to encourage them. Sometimes the single mom needs a kind smile, full of understanding, rather than another judgmental glare. Sometimes the quiet coworker just needs a friend. Sometimes the lonely need a little touch of kindness to continue in life.
I hope we are all able to see those hurting and show them incredible, Christ-like kindness. Let’s all do the simple, brave work of kindness.