a KIND of revolution

10 01 2015

So.  Apparently people here wondered if I am a terrorist.

 

Ja, let me explain.  If you have an unusual (unSwedish) name and seek the names of people working at the local grocery store then you could be suspicious…

I have grown up with being kind and nice to  others.  And I am really taken with the idea of Random Acts of Kindness .  You know, doing nice things fore people when they really don’t expect it.  These wonderfully kind things have often given me the oomph I need to keep on going.  So I like to encourage others to do that for others.

 

I am only now beginning to realise that not all people, or groups of people, think the same. 

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For Art, I wanted to get the children to create Mail art.  And they did BEAUTIFUL work!  Really great! 

And then share the mail art.  It was a challenge to get beyond sending a letter to somebody the kids would know. 

How my own terrorist alert came about:  I sent a facebook message to our local grocery store, asking for a list of names of those who work there.  The list was sent, but then a day or so later our Rector received a worried call from the  store manager… my foreign name… seeking identities of workers… could I be trusted´or am I a threat? 

Our junior group wrote short notes to each worker at the local store, thanking them for their work and wishing them a great Christmas. 

Simple, colourful, and hopefully something to bring encouragement and hope.

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Our high school kids did totally gorgeous envelopes, and wrote letters for the older folks at the home for older people in town.  I had to stand and write down all the names from the board up on the wall at the entrance (?!) (Maybe a bit like a terrorist?) because I could not find a person to help give me the names…  I would love to think how a person’s face would light up to receive a letter with this beautiful art on it, and receive unexpected wishes. 

My mom mentioned on their flight back to SA they thanked an air hostess who was working hard to keep all the travellers content and taken care of.  The hostess was rather surprised: it was the second time ever that somebody had sincerely thanked her. 

These are just a few examples.   And I woke up this morning thinking of random acts of kindness-terrorists.   We have again been affected this week by the dreadful acts of terrorists in Paris, and there is no doubting the fear and anguish they bring to others.

Here is a definition of terrorism:

Terrorism is not new and even though it has been used since the early times of recorded history, it can be relatively hard to define terrorism.
Terrorism has been described variously as both a tactic and strategy; a crime and a holy duty; a justified reaction to oppression and an inexcusable abomination.

http://www.terrorism-research.com/

 

How about if we REVOLUTIONISE this idea, and overcome evil with good?  How about if we outkind the nasty people in the world, outlove the unloving, and infiltrate every part of the world with KIND?

Look at the definition above and change it to random acts of kindness:

Be tactical and strategic.        Look for people who need kind.  See those who feel unappreciated and share some love.  A smile, a kind word, and maybe things.  But always begin with LOVE.

A holy duty.    Yes, it is.   Eph 4:32 says it:  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Other verses say it too.  Not is a way that can be interpreted as an option. 

a justified reaction to oppression  – Terror is NOT the way to deal with oppression.  LOVE is.  It is the only way to counter unkindness of any form.

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:8-12. 

Je-suis-Charlie

 

The truth, I believe, is that we ARE all Charlie. And how we react is a really important step in changing the direction of the world for the future.  But we can also be the revolutionaries bringing about change.  Not the kind that brings fear and insecurity.  But the kind of love-revolutionaries, where, little by little the world is brought to its knees to see how GOOD God is, how loving our Saviour is and how He seeks us out to cover us in love. 

I love the radical change this lady brings to her world.  Such a small thing that can change a person’s day, EVERY DAY… and I am sure the whole community is better for it.

Elderly woman shows kindness

And others FEEL the thanks.  The message was posted on facebook by our grocery store: “1000tack alla barn för alla fina julbrev / julkort som vi fått! Ni kan inte ana hur glada vi är för denna stor hög med julpost Strandskolan Vilhelmina Sweden Många kramar & önskan om en God Jul från oss — at Varuhuset ICA Tallen.”   a translation for you: “1000 thanks all children for all the lovely Christmas letters / Christmas cards we received ! You can not imagine how excited we are for this big pile of Julpost Strandskolan Wilhelmina Sweden Many hugs and wishes for a Merry Christmas from us .”

So.  Using tactics of planned kindness, and impromptu gentleness too,  what can we do to make this world better for all?  Leave tracks of love all over the hearts of people you meet every day.   Let us leave a heritage of grace, rather than a real reputation of being a terrorist! 

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