Over the next little bit I am going to post blogs based on a few of the Fruits of the Spirit that I have experienced this summer. I have not always acted as though I have these Fruits but I pray that they help all of us to reflect on our lives and the way we act towards others. Galatians 5:22, 23 says, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
Eric and I walked into the optometrists the other day waiting on his father to get contacts. There was a worker that was obviously stressed to her limits while her coworkers were criticizing her work. They were telling her all the things she did wrong and how they had to fix her mistakes. She left the room only to go into a small room and break into tears. My heart broke for her as I remembered being a new employee a few times and not knowing what to do. I remember the feeling of not being able to do anything right and getting so discouraged. Like me, she obviously strives on encouraging words and positive criticism instead of negatively charged words.
Eric and I leave two weeks from today to join the ministry of Grassroots again for a minimum of one year. Working with people in Tanzania is no different than here in America. We still have to recognize each person’s strengths, weaknesses, those things that help them succeed, and those that make them fail. Whether we are in America or in Tanzania, kindness is still a fruit of the spirit that we should strive to have. Eric and I left the optometrist office only to turn around two minutes later. I walked in and found her in the small room filing papers. I knocked on the door and she whipped around. She had this look on her face that said, “What else have I done wrong?” I told her that I simply hoped that she would have a good day. Her shoulders fell as she began to relax and then turned around quickly as tears filled her eyes.
I did nothing special. I simply told someone that I cared. My challenge to myself and to you is that we all tell someone that we care and that we show kindness to those that are in pain, whether it is emotionally, spiritually, or physically.