Pastoral Care

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“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see”

Mark Twain 

Always looking for an idea for a Fireside Reflection topic, I stumbled upon a book recently written by the comedian Susan Calman. It’s called ‘Sunny Side Up - a story of kindness and joy.’ I have to confess I don’t always ‘get’ comedians, (probably more a reflection of my sense of humour than anything else!), but Susan Calman does make me chortle and writing a book with kindness and joy at its heart, surely could only be a good thing, I thought.

The book was indeed uplifting. It rambles a little, reflecting on the essence of kindness, but it throws up so many questions and the anecdotes are marvellous.

‘A kind person is the most attractive person in the world’, she states. I couldn’t agree with her more. Genuine kindness comes from the very soul… I think of Mother Teresa – surely the very embodiment of what true kindness is. Others spring to mind, not just great people but ordinary everyday folk who come into our lives day to day and have all made a difference by simply being who they are. I applaud them all, as I know I could only aspire to be like that…

Returning to the book, what really appealed to me were the inspiring stories of others and little acts of kindnesses collected from a wide variety of people. During her last recent stand- up comedy tour, Susan had given her audiences a task. She had asked them during the interval to tweet her and let her know the kindest thing anyone had ever done for them. She gave them no further guidance other than to say that no act was too small or too big, too silly or too serious.

The responses were wide and varied, funny, heart – warming and affirming. There were far too many to include in this Reflection, so I simply share my favourite: “Kindness; when behind a woman in the Co-op short of cash for her shopping, my wife said, ‘Here’s that fiver I owe you’”. The matter of fact way that the woman’s embarrassment was covered over, speaks volumes, more than just the giving of the money to help her out… I thought it was superb!”

I wondered to myself whether we could do something similar in Church – have a box where we could write down an act of kindness that someone has bestowed upon you? Let me know what you think…

Last week Mary wrote about her little birthday jug inscribed with the words ‘Do small things with great love’. To that I add : ‘ No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted…’ Aesop

It’s worth remembering the lady in the Co-op….