Is it possible to be kind and not be a pushover? By kind I mean, relating with others with respect and calmness even when confronted with wrongdoing or a mean attitude. By pushover, I mean not being easily swayed or influenced by someone in order to please or placate the person even if you disagree with him or her. In my experience of following Jesus as a disciple, reading the Bible and praying for the Holy Spirit, I believe it is possible to be kind and not be a pushover. How? I suggest three things.

  • Be kind but firm. Follow Jesus’ lead. Be kind in speech and actions, but be firm with what you believe is right and true.
  • Be kind but don’t tolerate evil. You can be kind but not condone or participate in wrongdoing.
  • Be kind but not naive. The apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:16 warns us, “Be very careful, then how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”

Good morning, dew drops!

You who kiss the ground and grass

and melt under the warm rays of the sun

while golden maple leaves flutter

down…

down…

down…

and I watch from my window

in grateful wonder.

Dear God, can I be a dew drop for a few moments?

Let me melt into your warm presence

and bask in the gentle rays of your love.

copyright 2020 – Carla A. Romarate-Knipel

You and me.

We.

Together.

Let us dance while the storm is raging

Even if we step on each other’s toes, let us keep looking

into each other’s eyes.

Let us feel the beat in our hearts,

that rhythm of love that won’t give up

the music of memories that holds us up

unbowed

unfazed

by the gloom.

copyright 2020 – Carla A. Romarate-Knipel

English:

liquid love flowing

from a porcelain vessel

shaped to hold

warmth and comfort,

…each sip

soothes the soul.

Hiligaynon/Ilonggo:

inom-inom sang cha –

ga-isahanon apang masadya!

tumalagsahon ini nga tini-on

sa katapusan sang panag-on.

Akon ginapasalamatan ini nga dulot,

gikan sa akon bana,

mapinalangga-on nga kaupod.

Hala sige higop sining matam-is nga ilimnon

samtang nagahanduraw

sang iya matam-is nga pololongon.

“Poetry provides us the history of the human heart.” This is what American Poet laureate Billy Collins said in the introductory session of his master class on poetry online that I had attended. This was way back in July, five months since the Covid-19 pandemic began. During those long days of staying at home, I began to read and write poetry more than I ever had since I started appreciating it as a child. For sure I am not a professional poet. I was not a literature major in college nor do I have an MFA in poetry. What I do have is an insatiable curiosity and appreciation for the gift of poetry. I am very grateful for all those in the past who have bared their hearts using ink and paper to give us a glimpse of the architecture of a human soul. There were instances when I was baffled and moments that I was profoundly moved by these heart historians. But in times of uncertainty, reading a poem, has given me some stability, something to hold on to while the storm rages on. In my blog I humbly share some of my attempts to write a history of my own heart, grateful for the gift of poetry and those who generously bestowed them to us. May the Master Poet who has breathed life into us and created this world with poetic beauty and grandeur, inspire us with the joy of receiving this gift!