I'm sure there are many, like me, who love to read signs, posters and bumper stickers. I've had some favorites over the years. I came to a new understanding with "Life is what happens while you are making other plans." I carried with me for years "Be a real revolutionary practice your faith" along with "Lord, help me to do with a smile those things I have to do anyway." Now I want tell you about one I saw on the bumper of a car: "Practice Random Kindnesses and Senseless Acts of Beauty."
Senseless acts of beauty, meaning attractiveness, loveliness, excellence. Random kindness of magnificence, ones that might overwhelm the imagination and the world would label senseless. This could be our motto for the New Year.
First, we must agree that love never is seasonal. Love is of God. It becomes real in Christ. It becomes real in the kindness and compassion we show to one another. The same Love our Lord showed and spoke of when he said, "Love One Another as I Have Loved You." Imagine with me, what kind of an impact we could make on the world around us if we would truly live our lives with such a philosophy. We would then live as we were meant to live and what a world it would be. I know God would love that world.
This idea is not new; the concept is an old God-given one. It comes through in the Old Testament when there is some question in the minds of God's people about what He expects of them. The bottom line is found in Micah 6:8 when God speaks through his prophet Micah saying, (You all haven't been listening, are not paying attention because) "He has shown you, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly (Treat Every Person Fairly), to love mercy (Kindness) and to walk humbly with your God." Jesus said it this way, "Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength; this is the first and great commandment and the second is like unto it, Love your neighbor as yourself." In John 15 he sums it up by saying, "I command YOU (not a suggestion but a commandment) and I command you, to love one another as I have loved you. I command you that you love one another."
Hear God, listen to Christ - the message from One who is the same yesterday, today, in each new year and forevermore. The message is not going to change. He is saying to us to love when the world says it is pointless, ridiculous, absurd, even irrational - all that the world sees as senseless acts. This was Christ's way to love and live. Look at his directions to us, turn the other cheek, walk the second mile, forgive and love endlessly; give of yourself and all that you have, treating one another with Kindness and Love.
Are there things you have left unsaid, undone? Are these things that would speak to others of God's mercy, His loving kindness in you? We are charged to be His examples of Kindness and senseless Acts of Beauty. How well are we doing?
We need to carry within ourselves a love that is sincere and shines through allowing us to practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty in His name.
- Yeagle-Hungerford is a retired American Baptist pastor who lives in Montoursville.