By Miriam Rossow

Be kind. Be present. These are things we teach our children. These are basic life skills that allow you to live in society with other humans in a way that is beneficial to both people. These should be easy to do. And they are the two first steps to sharing Jesus with people that Carl has put forth in his book 42 Seconds.

I have to admit when I first read the book I thought, ‘Really, that’s all you have for me? Be kind. Be present. That’s too simple. And I already do that. Give me the hard stuff, Carl. There has to be more to it then that.’

Jesus says the greatest commandment after loving him is to love our neighbor as ourselves. Just love your neighbor as yourself and you are following Jesus and sharing His love with others. That’s it! Easy. Done.

That’s it! Easy. Done.

Wrong! Well not really wrong, just not really easy. At least not as easy as I thought. As it was put in the sermons, ‘I am a circle inverted in on itself.’ Or, ‘I think about myself more than I think about others. I make my life more important and I downplay the people and needs around me.’ Or, ‘Being vulnerable is part of having an authentic relationship.’

I hope these phrases don’t describe me all the time. I hope I am often kind and present just for others and not just for me. And I do know that they often do describe me. I often have good intentions and then I forget or put my own agenda above other people. It is so hard to stop in the middle of our busy lives of kids, family, jobs, activities to be kind and present to those around us.

This year I am not working outside the home and all 4 of my kids are in school full time. So I have found that I have much more time on my hands then the average person. And yet I find it is so easy to just stay inside when I see my neighbor out because I don’t feel like having a conversation. Or I find it easy to put off being with family because I have something else on my agenda for the day. Or I don’t call that person who could use someone to listen to them because I really need to get that laundry in and vacuum and clean the bathrooms. And let’s be honest; it is hard to be present and kind to everyone always or even most of the time.

When I think about what inspires me, what brings hope and joy to me, what shows me Jesus active in the world and the lives of those around me, it is people being kind and being present. It is when people don’t assume they are right and allow another person to share a little bit of themselves in their thoughts. I see Jesus active in our world when the forgotten are remembered and when the outcast are brought in. We share Jesus with others when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable in relationship.

I see Jesus active in our world when the forgotten are remembered and when the outcast are brought in.

This is what Jesus has done. He has called me out of the forgotten and remembered me. He has made me part of a family, His family. Jesus, although always right, does not hold that over me. Rather He gently questions, encourages, and nudges me towards His right answer. 

He has called me out of the forgotten and remembered me.

Jesus allowed Himself to be so vulnerable in His relationship with me and the world that He was able to be rejected. He allowed Himself humiliation and pain for me and for you. And it is because Jesus is truly present for me, that Jesus can be truly present through me. He has made me important and calls me worthy so that I can share Him with others.

So it’s easy, be kind and be present. It is easy because Jesus has done this for me, for you, and He works through me and you now for the world, one neighbor at a time.

Click the links to watch the sermons.

Week one sermon- Be Kind

Week two sermon- Be Present