Kill Them With Kindness!

bekah General 2 Comments

There’s been some cranky peeps in these parts lately.

I found this lovely note on our front door from a neighbor we’ve never met:

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 I called him and left a message to talk about the situation.

My husband called and left a message to rectify the situation.

I know you really want to call and leave him a message about the situation.

I started penning him a mental note:

Dear Neighbor I’ve Never Met,h

I’d like to introduce myself… I’m Bekah, your neighbor.  I’m sorry if our dog has been barking.  It probably had to do with the 4th of July week and the fact that our neighborhood erupted in fireworks at all hours of the day and the poor thing was scared to death. Please let us know if it continues to be a problem. Thank you for addressing the situation like a big boy. Our intent is to keep the peace with our neighbors and communicate in the most beneficial face-to-face manner possible. Don’t be lame.

Your favorite neighbor,

Bekah and Bryan and our barkless dog, Bruiser

A week went by and we hadn’t heard from him and assumed the matter was void. Until the afternoon I got a nice visit from Animal Control saying that our neighbor, the one we’ve never met, had issued a complaint that our dog had been barking non-stop on a day and time that I was home!

To say I wanted to walk over and ream his neck is an understatement. I started penning another note but it’s super mean and would make you and Jesus sad.

And it occurred to me that being mad at a cranky neighbor doesn’t make me different from anyone else. If people are mean to us, our natural tendency is to be mean back, or at least not overly kind. But isn’t that exactly what God wants us to do? To love the unlovable?

Matthew 5:47 says,”And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” Ugh. Conviction. The words of my dad came reeling back, “Kill him with kindness.” I grew up hearing those words. So often that’s I’d roll my eyes. All right, I get it, dad!

But it’s true. Kill them with kindness. Win them over. Be different in a world of cranky people.

“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” Fine…

Bryan went over to talk to him. The neighbor wasn’t super friendly. He admitted he wasn’t even sure it was our dog that had barked or even the exact time he had made the complaint. And you know what my husband told me after? Maybe God will use us to love on this cranky neighbor and show him Jesus.

{me mumbling in a whiny voice} But I don’t want to!

 

Today I waited in line to purchase these killer barstools:

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{I love when our Craigslist sales = barstools I’ve been eyeing and saving up for for months!}

And the lady behind the counter bit at me and told me to wait because she was helping someone else.

No problem, I’m patiently standing in line.

I’ll help you when I help this lady.

Yea, I know how this whole wait-in-line-thing goes, lady!

The crankiness grew as she looked down her sharp nose over at us. I was feeling the love for sure.

I was rehearsing a customer service 101 speech in my head when she slammed a THIS REGISTER IS CLOSED sign down.

Oh, that.is.IT! I’m just going to let.her.have.it!

But then, the thought: “Kill her with kindness.” Love those who are unlovable.

So I forced a smile {I can’t make miracles happen, people}

I engaged her in small talk. The straight line of her mouth turned up at the corners. I asked her questions. She said she was getting off her shift. She’s probably tired and ready to get home, I thought.

I handed her my coupon only to realize it had expired yesterday. She looked at me. She paused. She fumbled in her pocket and pulled out a 15% off coupon.

Shh, it’s our secret. Don’t tell anyone about this. And then she smiled. I’m here on Monday- Thursdays in case the next time you come in… her voice trailed.

Unbelievable. Amazing what kindness does. And it wasn’t about the coupon {although I appreciated it very much}. It was about not dishing out what I had wanted to, and instead, showing kindness.

Killing her with it actually. 🙂

I guess God knows our tendency for justice; be nice to nice people, and be cranky to cranky people. Wrong. Be loving to everyone regardless. Even if they are super lame and write mean dog threat notes!

I’m convinced if all of us focus on killing each other with kindness, this world will be a little more beautiful and joyful today! Go ahead, I dare ya!

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And now, when I look at these barstools, I see a story of a lady who was cranky and ready to get off her shift and perhaps needed a little extra love and kindness in her day.

As we all do.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. …” Matthew 5:38

Comments 2

  1. You know, I took a break from writing for comp exams, to read this beautiful note. I chuckled. I was just telling someone that we need a Pollyanna kind of love. Love them inspite of. Which is pretty much the love of Jesus. Kudos for breaking through to her, and LOOVEE the bar stools! A bit green with envy here.

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