Good afternoon, friends. This is Pastor Don. The other day in another city, a woman Mary Ann and I know was trying to support her 10 or 11 year old son who was playing soccer for his team in an unfamiliar place among unfamiliar people. She sat down in the stands only to find herself surrounded by the most vocal and critical fans. They were loud in their screaming criticism of stupid coaches, referees and even her son. It was so painful to hear, knowing how deeply her son needed the affirmation and encouragement that should be coming from those who are his elders and mentors!
I thought about that as I read an article in the September issue of Atlantic magazine by David Brooks. Its title is: “How America Got Mean.” His premise is that kindness, compassion, and civility do not just happen in a people, they must be taught and modeled in explicit ways for those characteristics to become second nature in our nation.
I am so grateful for those parents, teachers, and leaders who faithfully and carefully teach our little ones how to live in a crowded world. More now than ever, I think, we need to be building Beloved Communities. Our limited spheres of influence may seem a trifle, but you must believe that what you do in your given place does matter.
The Apostle Paul wrote: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)
Let’s Pray: God, you are our patient teacher. Give us the wisdom to both model and teach kindness and compassion in this stressed world of ours.