Tuesday, April 18, 2017


The word “kindness” may sound limpid, but I believe it is the strongest expression of love. If you notice a decline in human kindness, you’re not alone.  I was saddened and shocked by research done by the University of Michigan which states: “After the year 2000, College kids today are about forty percent lower in empathy (kindness) than their counterparts of twenty or thirty years ago.”  That was the beginning of the media age and kids grew up with access to games that eventually numb people to the pain of others.  When we become isolated and selfish, we don’t make time to be kind.

I am so grateful for people who still live their lives the way the Jesus taught us in the Bible which says: “…you should practice tender-hearted mercy and kindness to others” (Colossians 3:12 TLB). It takes unselfishness and time to stop our busy lives and make a phone call, deliver a meal, drop off a flower, or invite someone out for dinner.

It’s been five months since the death of my second husband and I am still receiving tender-hearted kindness from many people.  At the end of the third month I hit a wall and needed emotional and physical support.  When I prayed and asked God for help He used kind people to be His hands and feet to help me with every aspect of my life. Throughout my grieving journey, kind people have been my greatest gift. Those who took me in when I could not function on my own. Those who came to stay in my home and support me with meals and daily functions. Those who checked in with me every day to make sure I was O.K. Even the simple things like a card in the mail or in my Inbox, or joining me on a walk or a cup of tea.  Those people who made the time to extend kindness have literally changed my life

Kindness is not being a doormat or acquiescing to uncomfortable or unrealistic demands. Kindness is a sincere desire to allow the Holy Spirit to shape our hearts like Jesus, overflowing with compassion. To follow the example of Jesus, we need to re-adjust our over-abundant, over-complicated and busy lives to make time for a hurting world.

Modelling kindness to our younger generation is the first step to changing the statistics that our next generation is self-centered and uncaring. Through the astounding kindness that I have received in the last five months, I know that when I have the strength and ability, I will make it my life mission to extend kindness wherever I go.  I believe it’s the greatest legacy I can leave.

University of Michigan research: http://ns.umich.edu/new/releases, 7724, September 12, 2015

Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. Heidi has been widowed twice. She is a mom and step mom of a wonderful, eclectic blended family of 5 children and 12 grandchildren. When Heidi is not working, she loves to curl up with a great book, or golf and laugh with her family and special friends.
Her latest book RESTLESS FOR MORE: Fulfillment in Unexpected Places (Including a FREE downloadable Study Guide) is now available at Amazon.ca; Amazon.com, Goodreads.com or her website: www.heartconnection.ca


Peter Black said...

Thank you Heidi. I appreciate your transparent sharing of both the difficult aspects of your grieving journey - indicating times of dependency - as well as those that show your courage, faith and strength, through the grace of our Lord. I'm sure this is helpful for those who have suffered loss of spouse and is insightful for those of us who haven't as yet walked that path. ~~+~~

Carol Ford said...

Hi, Heidi

Thank you for reminding us the important act of kindness. I have not dealt with the loss of a husband, but I am so glad to know that you were surrounded by people who cared for you. It's interesting that today I saw an article for the C3 church that my son and daughter-in-law have been supporting in Toronto and now are in the core group starting a similar work in Victoria. I know that Toronto Life is a very secular magazine, so there is no mention of the impact of Christ in their lives, but lots of evidence of the need for connecting and caring. Have a look at why these young people are attending this radically different congregation. http://torontolife.com/city/life/c3-church-easter-streeters/

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