Recently, I read three books that speak to me about kindness.
First is A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. If you haven't read one of his books, please read one soon. This book is not an easy or pretty read and things don't all turn out okay. But it's a beautiful story about survival, perseverance, and the beautiful that occurs when people live out kindness to others.
Next is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This haunting book is an incredibly moving and beautiful story. What stands out to me the most about this book is the kindness of some of the characters against the backdrop of World War II and Hitler's atrocities. At the end of the book I had tears running down my face. I secretly love books and movies that make me cry. I love the flawed characters in this book. This is just a wonderful book. I even talked hubby into reading this book and he said it was one of the best he's ever read too.
Now, I have never read a Stephen King book - they're just not my type. But a few family members and one of my professors enjoyed and recommended 11/22/63 by Stephen King. I didn't love this book, but I did find it intriguing and I keep thinking about this story. In this book a man finds a way to travel back in time. He decides he is going to stop the assassination of JFK. You'll have to read it to find out what happens. I couldn't stop thinking about time travel and what I would do if I could go back in time. I know I would still marry my husband at 19, still make a lot of the decisions that I've made so far. But if I could go back in time I think I would go back to high school. Now this wouldn't be so that I could relive my glory days (they weren't glory days). You see, I was a member of the high school band. Anyone who's been in the band knows that the band becomes its only little group. Band members spend lots of time together, especially for marching band. The thing is, I wasn't always kind to everyone in the band (and other people in my life). I'd love to go back in time and relive those years and shower my fellow band members (and even my family) with kindness. Now I wasn't cruel or mean or terrible, but I was sometimes haughty, thought I was better than some of the them, and didn't always show the love of Jesus Christ to my fellow band members. I regret not letting kindness rule my interactions.
And I think that's what I'm discovering. That I will never regret being kind, showing mercy, and having compassion for people. I so want to live my life that way.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
But I can't go back in time. There's no way for me to return to 1992 and change anything. But there is something I can do. I can choose to be kind to those around me now. I don't need to go back in time because I have today, the present. I don't always walk in kindness. I've said unkind things, I've been easily angered, I've lost my temper. But today I strive to really and truly live like Christ and be kind to others, to be tenderhearted, to be forgiving.
Sometimes I need books to encourage me to do that.