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My First Parish Extends Kindness

Testimonial by:  Mary Ross

John O’Donohue writes:  “The word kindness has a gentle sound that seems to echo the presence of compassionate goodness.  When someone is kind to you, you feel understood and seen.  There is no judgment or harsh perception directed toward you.  Kindness has gracious eyes; it is not small-minded or competitive; it wants nothing back for itself.  Kindness strikes a resonance with the depths of your own heart; it also suggests that your vulnerability, though somehow exposed, is not taken advantage of; rather it has become an occasion for dignity and empathy.  Kindness casts a different light, an evening light that has the depth of color and patience to illuminate what is complex and rich in difference.”  

     

The kindness extended to me by our church family over the past year and a half of facing a painful condition has touched me deeply.  Returning to church for the first time over a year ago I was overwhelmed by the love, concern and compassion that was shown to me.  Although I had been unable to attend church, nonetheless you remembered me.  I felt loved and warmed by your kind embrace.  Verlee requested my beloved hymn Beethoven’s Ode to Joy which touched my heart, and I learned that prayers for the healing of our precious and fragile earth were offered each week.  Although I had been unable to be physically present at worship, I was present in your hearts. 

Upon my most recent return to worship after a July fall, there you all were once again, expressing your love, kindness and compassion to me, and assuring me that once again you had prayed for healing of our precious and fragile earth.  Your loving embrace gives me strength and courage to face the challenges ahead.  Thank you all for believing in me and loving me. 

There are many generous persons in our church who extend their kindness, assistance and moral support to people in our community.  Kindness blesses not only the receiver, but also the donor of this precious gift.  It is a balm that helps to heal wounds of loneliness and discouragement.  Often kindness lifts the receiver out of darkness into light.  It feeds the soul in so many ways.  

 The Dalai Lama XIV said “My religion is very simple.  My religion is kindness, ”Desmond Tutu says:  “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”  

I have been overwhelmed by the kindness expressed to me by our congregation. 

Thank you all for caring.

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,

 as God has forgiven you.”

                                                Ephesians 4:32