Example of Kindness and Caring

A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, July 13, 2014

BK definition of kindness

Example of Kindness and Caring

Sometimes, people follow those who are good examples. Those whose lives exemplify some trait or quality they would like to have. Or, have more of.

When I was young (I’m talking grade school here), I attended a Lutheran church on the northwest side of Chicago. The church was about seven blocks from my house. I would willingly walk both ways, to and from the church. But occasionally—especially in inclement weather—I would appreciate a ride home after morning service. Mrs. Pabst would take me home. She was the parish visitor, a volunteer position in the church, but one that many of the members and friends appreciated so much. She would visit the homebound parishioners, those who were hospitalized, and those in retirement and rehab centers.

Mrs. Pabst was an active senior, a widow who lived just a few blocks from my house. She and my mother had been acquainted for some years, and my mother thought Mrs. Pabst was a very kind, very caring individual. Mrs. Pabst also talked kindly to me, on occasion.

I vividly remember this situation. I must have been about eleven. Going to church on my own, as I usually did. It was the winter, because people were all bundled up. I remember being shy and hesitant to say that I had done something. (I cannot, for the life of me, remember what it was . . . ) Mrs. Pabst took me home after church that morning and spoke to me in her kindly way. She told me it was all right for me to take pride in my accomplishments. It was okay for me to own up to being responsible for something. Take ownership of, or point to something I had done. In other words, I could blow my own horn! Really, it was the good and honorable thing to do, and even pleasurable for me to do this!

This advice came from one of the kindest and most caring women I had ever known. Instead of being shy and retiring, hesitant to own up to any worthwhile activity or action I did, Mrs. Pabst helped me to see that I could, indeed, proudly let people know that I was the one responsible. It was okay. Even more than okay, sometimes. Just great, in fact!

I happened to think of this very kind lady today, as I remembered the words I used in a recent conversation. I gave myself as an example. I was self-deprecating and apologetic in my conversation with my friend, but I did point to myself. Tell my friend that I try to follow the right, Godly thing to do. Even now, decades after the advice given to me by Mrs. Pabst, I still am somewhat hesitant to blow my own horn. But as the years pass, I am getting more and more self-confidence. I do know that I am a worthwhile person and God’s creation. So are you! You, and I, and every other person made is a much beloved creation of God, and of infinite value to God. This is good news! Correction: this is great news!

@chaplaineliza

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Serving by Housekeeping—or Rather, Maintenance?

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, April 21, 2014

KIND another one kind word

Serving by Housekeeping—or Rather, Maintenance?

I went to work this morning. Quite a common thing to do, for many people. Going to work, that is. I am still getting used to my workplace, and everything involved with it. I very much like it! However, there are a lot of parts and pieces to my job. I need to get up to speed in more than the areas of pastoral care, preaching and music ministry. And, that’s a necessary thing. A good thing.

Say, administration and office work. I know how to do a lot of that, in other contexts. Just not in this specific church, in this particular suburb. I know each place has different idiosyncrasies, so it’s a good idea for me to familiarize myself with as much of the office as I can. And perhaps, I can suggest some things that might be helpful to the functioning of the office and organization. Or if you like, helpful to the ministry of the church and the congregation.

I asked some questions today about operations and maintenance, too! I know that some people would think certain questions might be silly. However, I’ve found I am usually beyond feeling shy or embarrassed at asking most questions. When I was a teenager, even into my twenties, I used to be shy and awkward. I might have those tendencies even now, but I am able to laugh about my occasional stumbles and missteps. It’s okay! Really, it is. Most people slip up sometimes. Or even more often than that. Like I said, it’s okay.

Thinking about the bible verse I chose for April, I could easily apply it to today’s activities. A verse from Colossians, verse 3:23. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” I don’t need to concern myself with what human beings think of me and my work. Instead, my first priority is to stay focused on God. If I try to please God, that’s the main thing.

Since I need to brush up on my church administration skills and activities, I do need to find out more about the office. Talking with informative and helpful people—like the head of the trustees, and the church treasurer—is a great way for me to orient myself to all things. And, I hope that activities at my workplace continue to go smoothly.

I know I want the best for my workplace. I also know I will try to be conscientious, kind and cheerful in my work and ministry. Will this be hard? Without a doubt. Will this job be rewarding? I know so, in many cases. I hope and pray that I will do my best—as Colossians 3:23 recommends. And not just at work, but in every area of my life.

What about you? Is there an area or a person you’re not sure about? Why not try some prayer? God will lead each of us. Whenever, wherever you or I go. God will be right there, by our side. That’s a promise.

@chaplaineliza

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