Sometimes it’s just plain hard.
Sometimes the world isn’t nice.
Sometimes we hear harsh words. Face harsh realities.
I felt some of that this week.
In Psalm 5, David is feeling it, too. He’s in distress. Groaning. Sighing. Crying for help. Looking for relief. After a bit, he turns to pray for all who would seek refuge in God and says:
“Spread Your protection over them … Cover them under Your
canopy of kindness …”
Oh, sweet Jesus.
Can you immediately feel the shade? The breeze? The hush of anything harsh?
David is crying for coverage. And the coverage is a canopy. And the canopy is kindness. Go figure.
What a beautiful place to live. Under a canopy of kindness.
What a necessary place to live when life feels so raw and we are too much pelted by grief, anger, fear. Too susceptible to that which falls down, bears down, beats down all harsh and hard.God’s coverage is a canopy and the canopy is kindness.
I was praying for kindness this week for those I love that are facing the hard. Praying someone would extend kindness to them. Stretch it right out over them. Give them a safe place, even for a bit, to take refuge from the storm. From the harsh realities that just are.
Friend, we can spread hate, spread fear, spread rumors, spread the virus … or we can spread kindness. Stretch it right out over each other. Life, itself.
The apostle Paul says it pretty succinctly when instructing the church in Ephesus: “Be kind,” he says, “and tender-hearted toward one another.”
We can’t stop all the storms that rage, but we can take cover in kindness.
God’s coverage is a canopy and the canopy is kindness.
As someone once said, “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”
Canopy of Kindness: Our Little Life Words of the Week.
- Recall a time someone extended kindness to you in even the smallest of ways. Write or tell someone about it in detail, including its impact on you.
- Read Kindness by poet Naomi Shihab Nye. How have loss and sorrow led you to be kind?
- King David once asked, “to whom can I show the kindness of God?” (2 Samuel 9:3) Make it a practice to ask this question at the start of each day this week. Act on what you hear.
- In situations you face this week pause and ask, “How might I respond with kindness?”
- Our song of the week is: Be Kind to Yourself by Andrew Peterson. An all-important reminder to extend kindness to ourselves as well.
- Seat yourself under God’s canopy of kindness. Just be there. You might weep. That’s okay.
- Now get up from your seat and begin to gather your friends and enemies. Walk them under the canopy, too. Ask God to spread His kindness over them, and sit back down with them. Just be there together.
May the kindness and love of God appear, both to you and through you. It just may save us yet (Titus 3:4).