A Month of Loving-kindness
This year, I'm setting apart November as a month of loving-kindness: a month dedicated to being and doing that which is lovingly kind toward others, myself, and all God's creatures (even...spiders and cockroaches).
Loving-kindness is tough; it's neither flattering nor obsequious.
Loving-kindness speaks the truth, but does so always for the benefit of others.
Loving-kindness never does for another what that one can (and, most certainly, should) do for himself (or herself).
Loving-kindness is deferential, but in a meek (strength channeled lovingly) kind of way; it never lets another walk all over him (or her).
Loving-kindness recognizes that everyone feels pain and, at times, causes hurt in others. Given this, loving-kindness gives everyone a break; more than that, loving-kindness forgives everyone (including oneself!) for everything. In fact, loving-kindness chooses to forgive others long before they ever say or do anything hurtful. This is how loving-kindness produces a heart that's slow to anger and not easily offended. Loving-kindness fears nothing, for it has nothing to prove and nothing to hide(1).
Loving-kindness is gracious, and it does whatever it can to make others feel warmly welcomed and embraced...even if it's at 2:30 in the morning.
So, as I wrote above, during November (which is my birthday month), I aspire to be lovingly kind in every situation. And I mean EVERY situation. Is it possible to respond to life in such a way? I believe it is. The Scriptures read in Galatians 5:22, “...the fruit of the Spirit is love...” My prayer (my deep plea) in this moment is for God to incarnate (make flesh) in me the same loving-kindness He feels for all beings (including myself). In receiving Him and His love for me, I'll be enabled to push beyond the simple acts of loving and toward that of becoming loving-kindness itself. How amazing would life (yours and mine) be if we become love? That, dear friends, is a life-long aspiration for me.
As I think on the above, I can hardly wait for November. I think it's going to be a beautiful month!
Peace and loving-kindness to all of you in this season...
From The Heart of a Warrior, by my friend, Michael Thompson (www.zoweh.org).