Hello again my friend,
Yesterday I shared with you about Fundy Fan Fest. I wanted to tell you that we met Erick Avari but I ran out of time. There can be no doubt that you have seen Eric Avari on the screen at one time or another. A quick peek at his IMDB page gives you an idea of his long and notable career. What his IMDB page will not tell you is that he is a charming, approachable, gracious person. We enjoyed speaking with him very much.
The charity that Erick is an emissary for is Ben’s Bells. Upon hearing him explain what it was and how it started I was so moved I knew I had to speak with him. Ben’s Bells came into being following the death of a child. While there are many types of grief in this world the loss of a child is an excruciating one. After the death of her son, Jeannette Mare found herself struggling to survive this storm, you can read their story on Ben’s Bells website. As part of the healing process her family began to make these bells in thanks for the kindness their friends and community had surrounded them with. Kindness that had carried them through dark days. The bells have become a physical reminder to practice such kindness all the time.
One of the things I wanted Erick to know was how much his support meant to Ben’s mother. As I meet and speak with bereaved parents the common theme is to see the memory of their child preserved and to ascribe meaning to their passing. As we spoke his passion for this cause was unmistakable. Ben’s Bells began in Tucson, Arizona but this movement of intentional acts of kindness has travelled so much further. In fact I am sitting way up here on the east coast of Canada telling you about it.
Intentional acts of kindness . . . . what does that look like? A smile given, patience extended, an encouraging word spoken, these are small acts that all of us can practice. Far too often we don’t. We are so wrapped up in our own lives we forget to turn our gaze outward. No matter what our own circumstances it is important to recognize that those we come in contact with also have discouraging or trying situations in their lives. How wonderful if you could be a ray of light in their darkness.
I would like to jump tracks for a moment. We are still on the kindness railroad but I want to look at this idea of deliberate kindness as a Christian. My christian family this is not optional for us. The scripture tells us that this is to be a hallmark of our lives. Look at Proverbs 3:3 “Do not let kindness and truth leave you. Bind them around around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Colossians 3:12 “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Well, well, we are without excuse aren’t we? These are only two scriptures out of the dozens in the bible that are very clear about what my life in Christ should look like.
Kindness should be an evident mark of Christ in my life, it should flow out of the kindness that was shown to me, that while I was still in my sin Christ died for me. None of us are perfect all the time . . . too often ‘kind’ is an adjective that is shamefully far from my biography. Go take a look at Galations 5:22-23, the fruits of the spirit. “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” This is what we strive for, this should be the prayer of our hearts that we will be transformed and the grace of Christ would be a light shining in the darkness.
Back to Ben’s Bells and Erick Avari. Erick, I want you to know that I count it all joy to have met you. I thank you for the kindness coin you gifted to me. I am putting it on a necklace as a reminder that everyone I meet has struggles and deserves to receive kindness. Thank you for encouraging us to take a serious look at how we interact with others, for encouraging us to be gracious to all we meet.
With my love and kindness to you,
Your Postmistress Stacey-Lynne