Kindness Transforms – What Our World Needs Now

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According to Merriam-Webster, metamorphosis is a “change in the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one by natural or supernatural means.” It’s a transformation from old to new. These changes can occur naturally in life, but sometimes, the person must want to leave the old behind.

Marriage brings about such a change, especially if you know you’re ready. I didn’t have any cultural preferences during my dating years. I didn’t know who my wife was going to be until five months before our wedding. Therefore, having a traditional African-American ceremony had never crossed my mind until my (forced) involvement in the planning. I like change, but I respect history. There’s something about certain traditions in all cultures that whispers to the hearts of our ancestors. It reminds us that their worth was priceless.

In keeping with tradition, “Jumping the Broom” had to be part of our union. The broom holds many meanings. It represents a couple’s new home or life together. The bristles signify the scattered African tribes/slaves, and the handle points to God who keeps us all together. Jumping the broom signifies the welcoming of a new beginning as the old parts that aren’t needed for your metamorphosis/transformation are swept away.

Our guest speaker, Pastor Ashlee Eiland, mentioned that God’s kindness is meant to transform our lives. So that we might see the truth about ourselves in light of who he is.

Romans 2:3-4
3 Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? 4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? (Emphasis added.)

The Message, which is a paraphrased version of the Bible, says it this way:

Romans 2:4 MSG
God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness, he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.

Pastor Ashlee detailed the renovation of a house as an example of transformation. When we see an old house, we think about what a mess it has become. Why not tear it down and start from scratch? Well, why not show a little respect and kindness to the architect. Sure the house is old and outdated, but that house has good bones. Sometimes, a good transformation requires a little kindness and some restoration.

In the African-American community, we have spent generations transforming, reinventing, and restoring our rich and not-so-rich history. Our ancestors jumped the broom because slaves’ vows weren’t legally binding. They used traditions of their homeland to transform themselves before God, for their humanity to be restored in his presence. Pastor Ashlee explained that this is the power of God’s kindness and what our kindness can offer the world. It is not a weakness. It is not a Band-Aid to life’s problems, but instead, it allows lives to be changed and restored. It allows you to return to him.

What are you hoping becomes transformed around you? Why? Do you see the kindness of others as a weakness or an opportunity to return to your original condition the way God intended?

Next Steps:
Remember the kindness shown to you and humble yourself to do the same for others. Participate in Serve Day to show your community how kindness transforms. This year Serve Day takes place on  July 17th and the Project Directory opens on July 3rd. If you are a Group Leader, plan a project with your Group.  You can register your Group’s Serve Day project here.

Father God, thank you for speaking forgiveness into me. Learning to forgive others transformed me and restored my faith. It’s a type of kindness that turned me back to you. Although forgiveness now comes more easily, pride gets in the way, so humble me to remember that you blessed us with the best form of kindness in your son. Amen.

This post was written by Jaron Camp, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.

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