1. prepare and use (land) for gardening.
2. try to acquire or develop (quality, sentiment, or skill)
This word has come up a couple of times lately.
Cultivating contentment. Cultivating patience. Cultivating kindness.
I want to focus more on the development of a quality over practical gardening tips. If you’ve seen anything I have planted, you would understand why.
My best friend Holly gave me a sign that says, “Cultivate kindness,” with the verse Proverbs 3:3. An encouragement to be kind and help develop kindness in others.
It’s not difficult to be a nice person. To smile at folks and ask them about their day. It’s much more difficult to have a heart of empathy and kindness. A heart that is tender to all people, regardless of how they act or how they treat you.
I love the show The Bachelor. It’s free of drama, and full of women looking out for other women. Super empowering stuff.
Well, we all know for a fact that’s not true, but this week’s episode has been receiving major attention because on (cue Chris Harrison’s voice) the most dramatic episode of The Bachelor yet, one woman put a stop to all the madness.
She decided to choose kindness over cruelty. Empathy over criticism.
And people loved it.
The most difficult woman of this current season has been a gal named Krystal and she has a tough background story, to say the least. She is clearly a woman who has experienced deep pain.
Then, there’s Kendall, who to be fair is quirky and at times a little strange. When faced with what could be an incredibly confrontational moment after Krystal was talking smack about her, Kendall turned it into something else entirely.
She said this:
This is what happens when kindness is cultivated. When women empower and lift each other up instead of tearing one another down.
There’s so much I would like to see cultivated in myself. Kindness, patience, humility, intentionality, contentment, grace, and on and on.
However, this gives me hope for the future of not just reality TV but where we are going as humans. When faced with adversity, we move forward. We use it as an opportunity to grow, to ask the tough questions, to say, ‘you have been unbelievably hurtful to me. I don’t completely understand where you’re coming from, but I do care about you.” Sooo difficult to do. So necessary to do.
I’m challenging us all this weekend to be more like Kendall from The Bachelor (lol, yeah I just wrote that down) and ultimately more like Proverbs 3:3, which reads, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”
Maybe it is a little like gardening. This work of cultivating.
May we plant a seed of hope for a kinder future.
May we anchor our roots in our faith.
May we be nourished by the richness of God’s Word.
May we keep ourselves looking up to the Son, the Son of God.
& May we grow in truth and love with each passing day.
May we be the cultivators of change. May we be the cultivators of kindness.