Is Kindness Your Passion?

“Whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with this morning?” the woman asked when I called the Burt’s Bees Company to inquire about a donation for paralyzed dog Mr. Simeon and his ongoing severe skin issues.

Wow. I couldn’t hold my tongue. I told her the truth. I was blessed beyond measure at her warm tone, her friendliness, her unusual words when it comes to people answering the telephone. When was the last time somebody – particularly a complete stranger – told me that it was a pleasure to receive my call? Yes, wow.

As so often happens when I call businesses with a question or concern, I had to be transferred. Ugh. Well, it’s often a big ugh. And, to be quite honest, I have a track record of being impatient and unkind on my end of the telephone – something I have worked diligently in the past year to correct. This telephone transfer was a bit surprising. Kindness. More kindness. I was given all the information I needed in case the transfer didn’t go through, and then transferred. Guess what happened? The transfer didn’t go through. Nobody answered. So I dialed the number I had been given.

What are the chances I would get more kindness in a day and age when kindness seems to have taken a back seat? Guess what I got? More warmth. More friendliness. More kindness.

When this second representative from Burt’s Bees came back from putting me on hold, I had already started writing this piece on kindness. And I couldn’t help but mention it to her. Actually, I couldn’t help but ask her about this kindness thing.

“Are your customer service reps trained to be kind?” I asked. “You’re the second person I’ve spoken with from your company, and the kindness of both of you really stands out,” I said.

“It’s more of a natural thing,” the woman replied easily. “We do get trained, but this is my passion,” she continued. “You have to be caring and understanding.”

We talked back and forth for a little bit. I shared with her how blessed I was to witness such kindness, and she shared with me how blessed she was to begin her day hearing my feedback.

I shouldn’t have been surprised when I mentioned to her that I was writing a piece on my experience with the reps from her company that she had no concern whether or not I would use her name. She wasn’t just kind. She was humble.

“I love your humility,” I remarked. “I am learning how to be humble. The one who should get the glory is God,” I said.

She readily agreed.

You know, I have never until this very experience, until this kind woman shared her heart with me, considered that kindness could be a passion. It never dawned on me that being warm and friendly could be a passion. As much as I try to be kind, and as often as I seek God’s forgiveness and apologize to people when I am not, it never dawned on me that kindness isn’t meant to be an obligation. It’s how God created us to be. He created us in His image, and He created us to be kind.

Talk about a passion. In my passionate pursuit of the Lord, in my insatiable desire to love and serve Him, in my ongoing aspiration to learn to love my neighbor as myself, as I look for opportunities to share the Gospel and to minister the Lord’s love to a world in need, I know I will never look at kindness in the same way. From this moment forward, may kindness be a passion of mine. And may I be humble, and thankful, that all glory is given to the One who created us all to love – and yes, to be kind.

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Colossians 3:12-14 NASB

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 NASB

To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 1 Peter 3:8

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