Friday, July 13, 2007

An Act of Kindess


Several years ago my brother in law (that's him in the picture - isn't he cute?) wrote his doctoral thesis on treating kids as if the were at promise instead of at risk. The core of his thesis is that if we want to raise healthy and whole kids we need to mentor them and call out the treasure in them instead of all of the potential bad stuff by labeling them at risk. It’s a great theory, one that Tim lives out in his job as a High School Principal and Dad (see www.atpromise.com) and one that I thoroughly believe in.

Around the time that Tim, or Dr. Tim as we like to call him, wrote his thesis, I was a volunteer basketball coach at an elementary school at one of the poorer areas in our Province. I came to the conviction that unless we help these kids from these rough and difficult backgrounds many of them were in big trouble.

Since that time I repeatedly see, and hear, great stories about people who received an encouraging word, or an act of kindness just at the right time and it helped to change their lives for the better. My daughter’s friend, for example, has a love of photography (see http://jamiedelaine.wordpress.com), so she wrote to some of the best photographers she could find and one of them responded and has asked her to work with them on a few photo shoots this summer. Isn’t that great? Isn’t that kind of this busy, successful photographer? My daughter’s friend is so excited.

I think the thing about kindness is that we just never know. We never know when an encouraging word, or a kind act is going to make all the difference in the world to someone, and because we just never know, we need to be kind as we go out into the world.

Kindness begins with our view of God. You can’t go to a Graham Cooke conference without hearing him say, “God is the kindness person I know.” As we begin to grow in our relationship with God by learning to pray and serve others, I think we become more and more aware of the kindness of God, and this naturally spills over into our interactions with other people. I don’t know Graham all that well, but what I do know of him is that he is a man that prays, and he is one of the most generous people around. Could this be because at his core he believes in, and has experienced the kindness of God?

learning to pray: Just pray and be open to the love and grace of God. Let his kindness find you!