“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” (Proverbs 31:26)
Remember those bumper stickers that used to encourage us to practice “random acts of kindness?”
Whatever happened to them? Whatever happened to us?
Be it our political discourse or just going about our everyday lives, we don’t seem to give one another much credit for having good intentions these days.
My Twitter timeline is littered with both random acts of unkindness and deliberate ones. Whether it is white women calling police on black children selling lemonade, fathers handcuffed for beating up children at sporting events or our President calling people names like a kidergartner would, ours has become a nation based on how unkind we can be because someone doesn’t look like the people who came here on the Mayflower.
Well guess what: there were already people living here who did not look like them and were displaced from their homelands by them. So there is nothing heroic, nationalistic or ethnically noble about being white in the United States.
It just means your skin lacks melatonin to the same degree as other people. Nothing more. Nothing less.
I often wonder if our Lord were to return among us as he looked when he walked the earth how many of us would accept him these days. He would look distinctly Middle Eastern in appearance and nothing like the blond, blue-eyed Jesus of European artistic vision.
How many of us would invite him into our homes for a meal? How many would demand he show his passport? Prove he had a legal right to be here? How many of us would tell him to go back to where he came from?
When I think of the Lord in his Passion, as he walked the Via Dolorosa on his way to Calvary, I often think of the small, tender mercies he was shown along the way.
In Mel Gibson’s movie vision, there was Veronica, who offered her kerchief to wipe his bloody, sweat soaked brow. An unknown woman who tried to quench his thirst. Simon, the Cyrenean who helped Jesus carry his cross.
Even Pilate’s wife brought towels to help soak up his Precious Blood after Jesus was scourged.
If Jesus himself were stopped and jailed at our Southern border trying to come into a Port of Authority to claim asylum, would anyone weep for him today?
Not in the United States we are shown on the nightly news. Not in a country still divided on racial lineage and biased ideas of who does and doesn’t have a “right” to be here.
We seldom practice random acts of kindness these days.
And we are the lessor for it.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)