I’ve been struck by how many quotes on kindness are floating about on social media since the sad death of the TV personality Caroline Flack.
“In a world where you can be anything, be kind”
“We don’t have to agree on anything to be kind to one another”
“Kindness is the mark we leave on ourselves”
Earlier this week, I went to an evening Ash Wednesday service. The vicar mentioned a conference she’d been to where a family had shared about the loss of their child and the difficulties they had faced as a family. As they sat on the sofa being interviewed, between them was their seven-year-old son who just sat patiently.
When the interview stopped, he took the microphone and confidently said, “that was boring!” The place erupted with laughter. Then he said, “To me it’s simple – we just all need to be kind,” and put the microphone down.
It strikes me in a world that is ever changing, as we head this month to the cross through the season of Lent – one thing is constant and true and that is the love of our heavenly Father who gave up His son for us all. That is the true definition of kindness.
As Paul reminds us in Colossians 3:2-14:
I see this kindness every week in the letters that come through the office as part of the Letter Link programme. People who are strangers to each other, but have been linked up as letter writers, expressing kindness and support to each other. And it’s not just one way – the men and women in prison write with such empathy to their penpals outside.
I see it, too, in the way that we have so many people inside prison wanting to fundraise and donate to Angel Tree. In the same way they have received kindness, they want to offer it back. Kindness given is multiplied. And because we have received the greatest kindness from God, we are sustained and strengthened in our work in prison.
Joanna Perkins is PF Programmes Administrator, running Angel Tree and Letter Link as part of the Support Team.
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