Kindness

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:12

It’s a contentious world, isn’t it? Although I’ve long been a news junkie, I can feel my attitude going south on me if I spend too much time reading or watching it. More and more, the prevailing political attitude from every side seems to be one of winning at all costs. Sometimes cooperation and its attending theme of kindness are swept away in the equation. For that, we all pay dearly. But then, there are those other stories. By contrast with tales of violence and political division, stories of sacrifice and generosity lift our hearts and cause us to remember what Christian ideals of behavior are. I don’t think we have to stick our heads in the sand or ignore the world around us, but finding ways to lighten the load of others has an amazing way of making your own challenges easier to bear. Smile, listen, compliment. Give to or advocate for those who need it. Remind others what God sees in them when they can’t see it in themselves.

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”
Henry James

We are not alone, though at times we feel it.
In isolation, fear and failure seem to grow.
We are made for comforting voices,
helping hands from those we know.


But God finds and buoys us
whether through family, friend,
or stranger.
Jesus uses human hearts and hands,
being born himself in a manger.

Never alone.
No, you’re never alone.
Through joy and sorrow,
laughter and tears,
you’re never alone.


God made kindness
when He made sacrifice

and hearts that grow
by giving away.
If we hurry at all,
we should hurry to be kind.
The best time to be kind?
Today.


©Joel Tipple 1/19/2020









Some Comfort

20190413_214413.jpgIt is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV

Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
Psalm 86:17 NIV

Inspiration came to me this week via my allergies. Here’s why.  I recently ordered some handkerchiefs, because… well, when your need is as great as mine, tissues just don’t cut it. By the way, did you know that a standard men’s handkerchief is 16 x 16 inches? And if you want something smaller, you have to get women’s handkerchiefs. And they’re more expensive. For less of the same material. They call that the pink tax. But I digress.
One of my earliest memories of my dad was a time as a small boy when I was hurting. I don’t know whether I was suffering from an ear infection or just a garden variety earache, but whatever it was, it was causing me a considerable amount of pain. I don’t know what other steps were being taken to alleviate my distress but seeing how upset I was, my dad gave me his red handkerchief. Aside from being practical, at that moment it simply felt like love. Now, when I pull out my own handkerchief, the material reminds me of that moment and my father’s love.

Some bit of comfort,
from a father to a child
can spell the difference
between calm and despair.
A hug,
compassion,
bound up in a bit of cloth,
can be as vital
to  the one who needs it
as air.
Not every effort we make
to share God’s love
need be expensive
or grand.
Sometimes all we need to share is a smile.
Sometimes all we need to give is a hand.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and are safe.
Proverbs 18:10

© Joel Tipple 4/13/2019

Stay With Me

(Getting through long nights with the ones you love)

Stay with me,
through the night and not knowing,
when the dark is more than what we see.
Hold me close,
when familiar is chaos
and our headlights can’t cut through the smoke.
I’m afraid my faith might not be enough
and I haven’t walked this road before
so just say you’ll keep talking
and I’ll do my level best to stop shaking.

When we get there,
wherever there is,
and we can take a legitimate breath,
that terrible night
will become another square
in the patchwork quilt
of our lives.

We’ll remember,
and be stronger,
through the crying and the praying
and believing without knowing how.
Through the now and now and now
and now…
stay with me.

© Joel Tipple 11/9/2018

Comfort

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Blessed by the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ, the
Father of mercies and God of all
comfort,
who comforts us in all our
affliction so that we will be able to
comfort those who are in any affliction
with the comfort with
which we ourselves are comforted
by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Heavenly Father,
Comfort those in mourning,
whose loved ones’ hearts beat on
in memories joy and pain filled
during lonely nights and dawns.

Comfort minds lost and broken,
those who cannot rest. Bring
them caregivers gentle, angels
heaven sent.

Comfort broken limbs and burned
skin, arms and legs no longer there,
that still send messages of pain,
phantoms in the air.

Comfort First Responders, who see
more than they should, who go when
others stay, who do more than others
could.

Comfort enforcers of law,
the ones who wear the vest,
who put our safety first
while making their arrests.

Comfort the military,
our red line around
the world, the ones who
often run into harms way
with our flag unfurled.

Comfort the healers,
who administer best aid
for our ills small or
grievous, their dedication
never wains.

Comfort for the Pastors,
who count everyone their
flock, whose hearts might
stretch out of their chests
while they point the way
to the walk.

Lord, if we can’t give comfort,
at least let us not add pain.
Let us, like all the other helpers,
be there for those in need
when sorrow rains.