KINDNESS…Start in Your Own Backyard!

Earline Duncan

Writer, Tayari Jones, gave folks a facebook challenge.  Starting, November 28th and for the next 29 days, she has asked people to commit to the intention of kindness.  She is asking participants to love without condition.  You know, be kind.  Like, pay for a stranger’s meal, read to a child, donate money to charity, smile, speak, feed the homeless.

Do you know what the Bible says about giving?  God loves a cheerful giver.  The Bible says that you will reap what you sow.  The Bible says that God gives seed to the sower.  The Bible says to go forth, love people and do not grow weary in well doing for in due season, you shall reap. A harvest is ripe and ready for the picking.  But those who labor ceaselessly toward intentional kindness are few.  That is what the Bible says.

In this Advent Season as we celebrate the Christ Child, I have begun my giving campaign with Tayari and her facebook friends. I don’t choose to share when and how I give my gifts of intentional kindness. I do it without fanfare or details.  But, I will tell you this.  I have a 78 year old mother.  She is my Mary. She is my Black Madonna. And while I am in the mood for sharing with folks outside my bloodline and social circle, I have decided to make myself available to serve my mother in this season too.

Most days, I call Mother while I am en route from work.  I ask about her day.  Then I drive on home.  But in this season, I will drop by her house at least twice a week and I will make myself available to her. I will ask…Mother, what do you need?  Can I take you to the grocery store?  Can I pick up your mail?  Do you need a ride to church?  Can I buy your dinner?  Would you like to play a game of Scrabble? 

Mother is going to answer with great delight…Yes!  And I will not be impatient.  I will not say…Mama, hurry up.  I will not say…Mama you are taking too long.  I will surrender to the selfless, constant love that she has always given to me.

So, yes, as I share holiday cheer, my kindness will extend out there somewhere…but love will also begin and extend to my own backyard.

Have you called your mother today?  You should.