Colossians 3:12 - Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Recently there was a violent earthquake in Alaska. Those who live there knew of the danger that faced them every day because of the history of earthquakes surrounding them. But it’s where they live. It’s not easy to find a new place to live when you don’t have the finances to do so. And, it’s where their families live, so they stay and rebuild.
However, what do people do when they live through a horrific earthquake, hurricane or wildfire and there’s no place to go for miles around where they lived. What do they do when there’s nothing left to go home to?
As I have written about in previous posts, this is what my mom faced in the wake of a wildfire. It was like as if her town had been wiped away. This also meant that there will be no rebuilding for at least a year, because of the need to repair infrastructure including water, sewer, and power along with making sure that all toxic materials have been removed.
So now what?
The many displaced residents have been forced into temporary shelters or they have fled to other cities.
And I can say with certainty, whether someone has been in a shelter or a new area, many stories have been told of how the victims’ trauma has been met with kindness and compassion.
There has been the provision of food and clothing, blankets and tents, and all along the way the two steps of kindness and compassion are leading many to find themselves on the road to healing from the tragedy.
This is what my mom has met at every turn.
Time-after-time, she has been met with kindness and compassion.
She has cried. They have cried.
She has laughed. They have laughed.
She has been confused. They have helped her figure things out.
Yes, kindness and compassion go a long way in the healing process. Here’s a few ways you can help a victim:
Reader’s Digest (rd.com) post the article, “15 Ways You Can Help After a Natural Disaster (Hint: It’s Rarely Donate Clothes),” and suggests to think of children by donating toys, snacks or juices; also, hosting a food drive or donating your skills to your community.
With a little help from each one of us, by showing kindness and compassion, it will go a long way to help natural disaster victims begin to heal. The Bible verse above speaks of kindness and compassion like clothes we put on. So as you change your clothes or shoes during the day remember the victims of a natural disaster that has recently happened and be the hands and feet that bring relief.
Isaiah 40:11 - He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
You open the door, as a bell jingles above it. Sliding into the shop you stop. You must be careful for small, glass blown objects rest on glass shelves with black velvet underneath each figurine. You’re amazed at the craftsmanship. It took great patience and a gentle hand to blow the glass into the shape they wanted it to be.
And as you gaze upon the figurines, you realize you’re the glass object resting on the shelf.
Sometimes those who suffer with emotional pain feel like they should have a sign hanging around their neck saying, “Handle with Care.”
But our world has grown less and less careful. No one cares if they hurt someone with their words and actions. They want to be in charge. They push through the crowd of people around them so they can be first. And somewhere along the way they’ve pushed themselves right into the heart of someone else only to leave a wake of pain and misery behind them.
Treating one another with gentleness is a gift to the one receiving it. Why is it so hard for someone in pain to accept the gift? They crave for others to try to understand them. Someone to really care about what’s happening in their life, but most of the time, we’re shoved aside and labeled with Anxiety Disorder, Panic Attacks, PTSD or Major Depressive Disorder.
Do you ever wonder if our world were a gentler place there would be fewer people who are hurting? I think so.
But take a look at our current times. There is so much hatred. So many ways people are being labeled and divided. It’s difficult to be gentle and kind, but worth the extra effort.
Here are some ideas on how to be a gentler person from wikihow.com in their article, "How to be a Gentle Person," such as don't touch people who don't like to be touched and don't confuse gentleness with weakness.
We all could try a little harder to create a gentler world. Jesus wanted a gentler world and he led the way as he healed and cared for those he touched. He knew what it was like to be a shepherd; gently leading and holding closely those who needed his love. He’s ready to hold you.
Listen to the music video by Tim McGraw entitled, “Humble and Kind.” It might just inspire you to be humble and kind.
Psalm 90:15 - Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.
Do you believe in karma? That what you do or refuse to do for others will come back around to you and you’ll have someone refuse to help you? It’s a cause and effect. Karma can be about the negative but also about the positive. Goodness and kindness will come to you when you give it to others.
I believe that what you sow, you will reap.
Doing something good for others will cause us to have someone do something good for us. An example would be when you let a person who is trying to get into your lane get in before you. In turn, you may come to a situation where you need to be let into traffic and someone lets you in.
Living with emotional pain takes a toll on your body. You may want to be grumpy, but if you are not nice to others, such as your family, they will get grumpy with you.
I know this subject may seem like a small issue, but it’s not. It can be hard to be friendly and show kindness to others. But by doing so it will not only lift up the head of someone else who may be drowning in emotional pain, it will cause you to be lifted up. Show them that you can be glad even if you’re suffering.
Let’s also remember that life isn’t about expecting a reward for doing something good. We must want to help others without expecting anything back. This also can be a challenge, but it’s worth it.
Take a look at a short video titled, "Be Good unto Others and Good will Come Back Around," on YouTube about being kind and thoughtful to others. It may be a little difficult to watch because it’s in another language, but the subtitles and story are worth the struggle to read them.
Your life may feel like it’s going so fast that you don’t have time to slow down and share a small deed with another life. But if you do, you will find that you can be glad you did. And, you’ll also find that when you do this, God can take all the time that you’ve spent suffering in your emotional pain and bring forth many days of gladness.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.