As I drove down Middlebelt, I kept seeing the signs, "Be Kind Livonia." I started thinking, what does it mean to be kind? I like to know the meaning of words, so I looked up kind: character, nature. Hmm, what about kindness: the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate. Kind describes what you become when you show kindness. I have to admit, I need to work on being kind. I can show kindness, but I need it to be like 2nd nature to me, not something I do because it is the right thing to do. Did I lose you? Let me go find you for a minute. Showing kindness can be as simple as holding the door open for the person behind you. Then as they walk through the door, you trip them, because it is your nature to not be a kind person. You were just showing a little kindness (consideration) because you had an ulterior motive and that was to trip that person.
It is your kindness (acts) and the "kind" of person you are that draws people to you. The Bible states in Jeremiah 31:3-The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. (NKJV) God's character is to be kind and show lovingkindness (forgiveness, mercy) towards his creation. The world was cruel to you before you came into the acceptance of Jesus as your Savior. The god of this world had blinded you to the truth of the Word of God. You were drawn to Christ because of his goodness, his love and mercy. Don't allow the world to draw you away from Christ by the kind acts they do. Those acts has a dark motive behind them. The enemy's motive is to get you a first class seat to hell. Remember even those who don't believe in Jesus Christ can be good and show kindness to others, not knowing that their souls belong to the god of this world.
Let's talk about the power of kindness, it can win a friend and save a soul. Over a year ago, a neighbor died and was in his house dead for a few weeks. He was a older man who didn't have visitors and was a recluse. I used to live directly across the street from him and I never spoke to him, I may have waved a few times, not sure. I kept telling myself I was going to talk to him the next time I seen him on the porch. That talk never came. I moved two doors down and unless I walked to his house, I didn't have an opportunity to speak to him. He wanted to be left alone and I left him alone. I was sad when I heard he had died in the manner that he did. That's one of my concerns as I don't have a husband or child, that I will be that old person no one visits. I am believing God will keep me surrounded with friends that will take care of me.
After he had passed, I was driving pass his house when I seen a cat in the window. The police had removed his body but left his cat in the house. This cat probably hadn't eaten in weeks! I called Animal Control and it took them another week and a half to get the cat out of the house! During the time I was trying to get the cat out of the house, I learned his family had not been notified of his death. What? This was unacceptable to me. No one thought this man life mattered enough for someone to know of his death? I did some snooping and obtained a phone bill. I knew that older people still had landlines. I think I missed my calling as a detective. I called one of the numbers on the phone bill and reached his sister-in-love Lynn. Lynn said that I asked if she knew Paul and then bluntly said, "Paul is dead." She said she didn't know rather to cry or laugh. Okay, I have to work on my delivery of bad news.
That act of kindness won a friend for life. We connected on Facebook and finally on Saturday we met face to face. Lynn came bearing gifts and she treated me to lunch. She kept her word that we would meet and she would treat me to a meal. We didn't' have a pause of silence as we talked, shared our love for animals and even discussed Paul. Paul was a well educated man who never used his degree. His last job was washing out lab beakers at a chemical company. Paul had always been a loner with maybe a friend or two. His father was a painter who painted portraits of Paul and his family members. Lynn came to retrieve those paintings. They were dear to the family. I got to see Paul as a younger boy in one of the paintings. He was quite a handsome little fellow. The power of kindness allowed me to meet such a wonderful person as Lynn.
After Lynn left, I started to reflect on how God has always used me to impact my environment. I met one of my dearest friends, Neva at my last apartment building I lived in. I sent her an email detailing all that was going on in the building when she left. She was the apartment manager and she started emailing and I kept her informed of what was going on in the building. Eventually I revealed who I was and me, her and a few other tenants came together to start to restore the safety of the building. There were drug deals happening right outside the building's front door. People were getting high in our back stairwells. The management had stopped cleaning the building and it was getting filthy. One night it was a stabbing on the 1st floor and someone wrote big gang signs on our lobby walls. You could feel the evil in the building. Then there was a fire in the building, two floors below me. Yeah, it was a lot going on in the building. Did I tell you that I would chase away prostitutes having sex in our parking lot with their clients?
To make a long story short, we cleaned the building up. We even had the drug dealers help us paint the laundry rooms. How did I befriend the dope dealers? I started cleaning the building. On Sundays, I would vacuum the hallways, sweep the stairs and clean the laundry room on our floor. While I would clean one of the dope dealers asked me why I was doing what I did. I told him because of God. So he would make it a point to come talk to me while I cleaned. He began to respect me because of what I was doing. I had the cleanest laundry room of any of the other floors in our building. I had been so busy complaining about my environment when I could change it. I raised money to purchase a camera, I got the building owner to come and talk to the tenants because I started writing him letters. Someone gave me the owner's address and I threaten him with letters saying I was going to go to the news and let them know what was going on in the building. That man got that building together! Was I scared, was my life in danger, yes! They were kicking people's apartment doors in everyday. I would come home and be relieved to see that no one had broken into my apartment. I am sure they knew, I was the one stirring up trouble. God protected me! The power of kindness gave me favor with the very ones that were wreaking havoc in our building. Oh,.... my church even came in and ministered in the lobby. A neighbor ended up giving her life to the Lord on that day. Glory!!
I have other stories of how God used me to affect my neighborhood, but I always like to leave you hanging. It is okay to get involved when led by the Lord. Use wisdom and understand that God will sometimes move us out of the prayer closet and direct us to do something about what we prayed for. I am going to make being kind a part of my character.
Do you know know that the marketplace is our greatest test for us? Pray for that colleague that gets on your nerve, you know the loud, always late, never do their work, but get away with everything colleague? That one. Maybe it is your family or your spouse that you need to be kind to. Just remember, the power of kindness can win friends and souls for Christ.
Until next time,
Your Favorite Ruby Girl