Last night, after trying to catch up on “The Walking Dead” and giving time to science fiction, I had it with the rough and tumble world of television. Besides, thanks to the memory of my daughter, I was brought to remember good people in my life and how I have recently not paid much attention to the likes of these. Fortunately television did offer another option. It gave me true justice, true kindness, and true romance.
I have a confession to make. I like “Amelie.” That was the French romantic comedy starring Audrey Tautou about a young woman named Amelie Poutin who goes about Paris doing “random acts of kindness,” by leading the blind, saving her father and playing the role of matchmaker all the while she metes out justice to a bully, though not in very cruel fashion. Finally after giving others happiness, she is given happiness in return. In this way the French title makes more sense…..”The Fabulous Destiny of Amelie Poutin.”
Though I had to be up early and “Amelie” came on late, I decided to watch as much of this fairy tale as I could and still get a good night’s sleep. It would be my way of honoring those who are kind. And it led me to think I had recently forgotten an important life lesson, that is it is not what one does for the self that is important, but what one does for others.
I had been self-serving of late. True I had been in service to others, but it was the kind of service about professional commitments and the like. I had not given others kind words or listened to them, or done some unseen thing to make their life better. Amelie was always doing these subtle things that gave others joy and her no credit, her reward only being that others had joy. I had not done such things, but I thought I would like to. So I went to bed and thought when I got up, I would be like Amelie.
I tried; sometimes it worked better than others, but all the while I did what I could and I grew to feel better.
I did have to turn off the television before Amelie won her reward. It was appropriate. I had been selfish of late and did not need to think of kindness repaid. Kindness alone is enough. And today, that worked. It worked because I had seen part of a quirky French movie and it worked because I know so many who are like Amelie, people I would like to be like.
When I thought more deeply of “Amelie” I thought of the hesed of the main character. That is the Hebrew word for kindness and it is a wonderful little concept. It is not required. In Micah God asks us to love the thing, but it is justice and humbly walking with Him, he requires. Kindness is only to be loved.
I thought on the word and what it means to be kind. And it is really only this…..the active part of love. So if I love, I must make it active in kindness. And despite my desire to fight and want to be protective, I do love before I do anything else. That is enough. Fine if it sometimes leads me to the combative place for it will do that; most often it should led me somewhere else….to be like Amelie and those who are like her.