Retreat Sunday: Kindness

I was so weary yesterday after I arrived in the mountains that I took an hour nap before dinner. I was asleep by 9 and didn’t get up until 7.30 this morning. My friend reminded me that sleep heals. 

I decided to stay on the mountain today, resting, after I found a healing Eucharist on Wednesday that I can attend with the bonus of a nearby labyrinth walk. That will be my worship in community. 


My morning was spent on the porch reading, knitting, writing, and listening to Heart and Voice. 

Then I took a walk in the woods for quiet and for centering prayer. 
All morning I was praying for our Dominican Republic Missioners; for Alan, our new Curate, as he and his family celebrate their first day as a clergy family; and for my St. Mary’s family as they worship and make Bags of Grace. 
I was also pondering  kindness. I’ve received so much kindness these past two months, and I have yet to write one note of thanks. 
Last Sunday in my sermon, I had invited, no exhorted, the parish to be kind to those to whom it’s difficult to be kind.  As for all of us who preach, I was reminding myself first of all.  
Today I read a wonderful essay on kindness. I was reminded that the root of kind is kin;  kind has the implication of treating others as kinfolk. 
Since the flood, I’ve been hyperaware of when kindness is present, and when it’s absent. It’s the gift of kindness that brings me to tears these retreat days. 
The kindness of friends opening their home and cooking me meals. The kindness of God’s sunrises to awaken me and breezes to cool the day. The kindnesses of others who send good prayers. The kindness of strangers’ smiles. 
I read today that research indicates that centering prayer results in increased compassion which also leads to kindness. As I rest in God these retreat days, centering myself in God’s presence in prayer, may my own healing heart fill with compassion. 

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