Married songwriters Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz make up a musical group known as Watchhouse (formerly, known as Mandolin Orange. They are on my bucket list to go hear live and I’ll eventually get there.) They are an Americana/folk duo based in Chapel Hill, NC. Andrew sings, plays the mandolin and acoustic guitar. Emily sings as well, plays the violin and acoustic guitar. You have to be a fan of their style and the mandolin sound. Their music is distinct and heartfelt. When I’m having a day where my soul needs a bit of disentangling, I listen and let myself be settled. It’s been said there is a partly hidden strand of unorthodox Christian belief in their music.  I heard them say, “church music was a very big part of our upbringing and in our music, we are able to keep those structures and those melodies going and also kind of bring to those songs a new way of thinking that don’t necessarily reflect the old ways of the church but they don’t discredit them too much. For us it was the old hymns, it’s still kind of around us all the time.”  In their song “Better Way” they touch on an orthodox Christian belief in the singing line “I hope you find a better way… I hope you find… I hope you find a better way… To be kinder.” It’s good to be kind, not only to others but to yourself as well. We need kindness these days. There is way too much inconsiderateness, insensitivity, thoughtlessness, hatefulness, meanness, and spitefulness. Kindness goes a long way. I suggest kindness is a quality shown in the way a person thinks, speaks and acts. It is organic and originates in the belief where everyone is worthy and valued. The invitation is to be clothed in kindness and find that better way.

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:31-32a
“Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another,”

Reflection Questions:
How do you define kindness?
How do you best embody kindness?
How can we be kinder to each other?

Prayer: Holy God, let me put away the things that separate me from others. Help me to be aware of those around me and to share an encouraging word or an expression of thoughtfulness. Let kindness shine from me.  Amen.