Monday, February 12, 2007

I've been "Kind-n-ized"

Ok... so I went to the local hospital today to do a visit, and I stopped at the guard kiosk to get my parking pass, when he hands me a United Way "Random Acts of Kindness" card which tells me "You've been KIND-n-ized." So evidently this week is random acts of kindness week, and I should be all for it, right? Except, number one... a security guard sitting in a booth handing me a card doesn't make it all that clear exactly WHAT kindness I have been shown. I was just confused afterward.

And I am not at all for having a Random Acts of Kindness Week. As Christians we are called to love others, which might not be kind at all. And let's not be random at all please. Can we make our whole lives reflect the love we have been shown by the Triune God? Can we exhibit the charity that goes with being a disciple of Jesus Christ?

How many of these random acts of kindness are simply meant to evoke a warm and fuzzy feeling in people? Can I pass on being randomly kind, and instead live out my friendship with God consistently and continually? Why do we raise up this week as something special? It really should not be.

What we must wrestle with is the issue of what is the character of the Church. Are we a volunteer organization that seeks to occassionally reach out, or do we show God's love and mercy even when it hurts, bearing the cross?

So instead of Random Acts of Kindness, let's focus instead on the works of mercy, which are:

The corporal works of mercy are:

  • Feeding the hungry
  • Giving drink to the thirsty
  • Clothing the naked
  • Harboring the stranger
  • Visiting the sick
  • Ministering to prisoners
  • Burying the dead

The spiritual works of mercy are:

  • Admonishing the sinner
  • Instructing the ignorant
  • Counseling the doubtful
  • Comforting the afflicted
  • Bearing wrongs patiently
  • Forgiving injuries
  • Praying for the living and the dead

1 comment:

Scooper said...

To me, practing random acts of kindness is a "lite" sweetener and feel-good remedy if you want to "love kindness" without having "to do justice, and to walk humbly with your God." Often consumed by those who "practice charity when it is sufficiently convenient."

I have a few more of those in a bin full of Canned Theology.

I think of ministry as whom I encounter. (I'm a lay person, but I believe in the ministry of all believers.) I try to discover who they are and to get them to speak God's word of liberation to themselves. Sometimes, that word is given to me instead, and I can say it to them. And sometimes its not a word but a silence.

Blessings to you and your ministry.