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“Find a need and fill it.”  I don’t know what Ruth Stafford Peale had in mind when she said this.  But I’ve been sitting here thinking about some of the needs I see in our world today.

Kindness and respect.

The other day my niece was telling us about two of her team mates being pulled off the field by their coach.  They hadn’t fouled a member of the other team.  They didn’t sass the ref.  They were arguing with each other about which position one of them was supposed to be playing.

Kindness and respected could easily have led the disagreement in another direction.

When my son offered to take a repair over at church, I watched the head of the building committee.  You would have thought someone had handed him $10,000.  The irony?  Lately he’s gotten a reputation for being an argumentative bully.  Now I’m wondering how stressed he is dealing with the bathroom sinks, the leaky roof, the gutter, etc.


Kindness and respect.  It can make a difference.


Kindness. It is as simple as that.  

In fact, it almost seems too simple, but really it isn’t.  This is what Miss Ruth touched on yesterday.  Judge or give someone the benefit of the doubt?


I’d love to say that I’m as good at that as she is.  But it is something I have to remind myself to do every day especially when someone has wronged me or called me down when the fault is very much shared.

As Ruth reminds me, I don’t know what day she had before she contacted me.  I really have no clue.  But I can give her the benefit of the doubt.  A small act of kindness and an opportunity to practice what I preach.


Funny that this is the image slated for today.  You see the cat decided to sing us the song of her people until about 2:00 in the morning.  She woke us again at 6:45.  We only managed to ignore her because we put her in the basement.  Needless to say, we are not bundles of sunshine and happiness today.  And we have 20 or so people coming tonight for dinner.  Yep.

First world problems but we are also first order crabs today.  I’ve crabbed at him. He’s crabbed at me.  The boy has stayed out of it by simply refusing to get up.

The thing is that we can, at any point, simply make a decision. We may be tired but we don’t have to be crabby.

Yes, these are small things but how often do small things snowball when we decide to take them out on someone else?  Instead, we could choose to bring light.

Count to ten before answering.

Smile.  No, not the toothy feral monkey kind.  A genuine smile.

Hold the door open for someone.  Let someone else go in line before you.  They are all simple things, but little by little they add up.



This past week we’ve been watching a series that my husband and I used to watch when we were in college.  Due South is about a Canadian Mounty who ends up in Chicago.  He makes friends with a mediocre Chicago cop.  Half of the show is all about the contrasts between the “Canadian Boy Scout” and the cop. Let’s just say that the Mounty is an endless source of kindness.

And the thing that makes you smile?  Ninety percent of the time, he gets kindness back even from the jaded people he encounters while investigating a crime. One junior criminal even ends up “dog sitting” his husky/wolf.

I’m far from a Polly Anna but right now, this is what I need to see.  Someone being nice because it is the right thing to do.  And watching how it turns situations and people around.

Not that I expect any of us to be as kind as a fictional character.  But if we each did something kind every day, don’t you think the world would be a more beautiful place?


A mini sermon on kindness brought to us by Amelia Earhart.

My mom would have loved this quote from the author of Peter Pan.  She was a big one for being nice to people even when they aren’t being nice.  “Kill them with kindness” was her motto.

I don’t think she’d be super happy with me.  But, Mom?  Seriously.  These people are just so . . . so . . .

The St. Louis area has once again settled into a pattern.  Peaceful protests and Black Lives Matter during the day.  Riots and property destruction at night.  It isn’t everywhere.  It is actually really isolated.  Our area is pretty much business as usual, but people are people which means they are scaring themselves.

For some of you who don’t have teens, you may not realize that this is also homecoming season. This, of course, means TPing.  One woman reported a group of teens “committing mayhem with toilet paper.”  Yeah, that sounds scarier than TPing but let’s get real.  Just because someone TPed your neighbor’s house does not put you in the thick of it.  The fact that you were scared of a group of laughing teens with butt-wipe . . . well, it tells us more about you than about them.

Now, that did occur at night and some people are easily spooked once the sun goes down.  Full disclosure time.  My 6’1″ son doesn’t even jump out at me any more.  He stands around a corner in the dark and waits for me to walk into him.  Just stands there, grinning like a loon.  My fight-or-flight reflex is such that I always jump.  Always.

But enough about jumpy me.  We also had our annual balloon race this weekend.  You may not know that the balloons land wherever.  A few at the landing site.  A few here.  A few there. One or two landed on residential streets.  One flew so low over my friend’s house that you could hear the burner ignite.  “It was awesome!”  That’s what my friend thought anyway. Other people posted about how utterly terrifying the balloons were.

Utterly terrifying.

I may jump high enough to go into orbit when my son startles me, but as a society we really need to get over being spooked by everything.  Black Lives Matter supporters?  They have no plans to burn your home.  Really.  They just want us to decriminalize the color of their skin.  Quit treating them like thugs.

I spent a lot of time this weekend praying for patience.  I can’t say I managed to consistently be kinder than was necessary, but today is another day.   Just be nice.  Just be kind.  Take a really deep breath.



The reality is that we are all going to make mistakes.  It is what human beings do.

Can you think of any other better way to do it?  In kindness acting in His Name and with His Love?


What do you see that needs to change?

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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