Please Be Kind
From all appearances, the milk of human kindness has clabbered. Daily, we hear of every kind of assault and violence as well as verbal and physical confrontations that are devastating. In reality, there is no winner in an angry verbal exchange. Although one may be touted as having shut the other party down, the aftermath can breed deep wounds or become seething malice that will find a way to avenge the embarrassment suffered at a later time.
Marriages can be places where one mate is so beat down that their lives have become joyless drudgery. Children can be bullied, teased, or mocked to the point their self-image is scarred. Employees that suffer daily barrages of a boss’s insults and belittling comments loathe going to work, despise being “at work”, and cannot wait to leave the office as soon as quitting time comes.
Adults are often walking wounded. Things that are happening in their lives now or things that they endured earlier in life have marked their emotions and personalities permanently. The environment that is continually demeaning and abusive can create a sense of worthlessness or ineptitude that is not true, but is what a person can think of themselves due to harsh insults over a period of time. And, sadly, some struggle with their self-image because of a something from birth that they cannot possibly correct nor did they choose. Yet, some are treated as if they are not “as good as”, “as pretty as”, or “as desirable as” someone without a visible, physical limitation. Love is the greatest of all gifts and the most needed of all affirmations. It is always well received!
Mary had grown up knowing that she was different from the other kids, and she hated it. She was born with a cleft palate and had to bear the jokes and stares of cruel children who teased her non-stop about her misshaped lip, crooked nose, and garbled speech. With all the teasing, Mary grew up hating the fact that she was “different.” She was convinced that no one, outside her family, could ever love her … until she entered Mrs. Leonard’s class. Mrs. Leonard had a warm smile, a round face, and shiny brown hair. While everyone in her class liked her, Mary came to love Mrs. Leonard.
In the 1950’s, it was common for teachers to give their children an annual hearing test. However, in Mary’s case, in addition to her cleft palate, she was barely able to hear out of one ear. Determined not to let the other children have another “difference” to point out, she would cheat on the test each year. The “whisper test” was given by having a child walk to the classroom door, turn sideways, close one ear with a finger, and then repeat something which the teacher whispered. Mary turned her bad ear towards her teacher and pretended to cover her good ear. She knew that teachers would often say things like, “The sky is blue,” or “What color are your shoes?” But not on that day. Surely, God put seven words in Mrs. Leonard’s mouth that changed Mary’s life forever. When the “Whisper test” came, Mary heard the words: “I wish you were my little girl.” (Copied).
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Eph.4:2. Let us love one another, for love is of God. (1 John 4:7).