Tuesday, October 4, 2011

You is Kind. You is Smart. You is Important

In the movie The Help, Aibileen woke her young charge with these three phrases each day (based on the book by Kathryn Stockett). White people had treated this black maid like a dog all her life and caused her incredible misery. Yet Aibileen chose to bless the daughter of her employer. She woke her with smiles and tickles, held her in her lap and looked her in the eye, saying, “You is Kind (now repeat back to me). You is Smart. You is Important.”
The mother barely acknowledged her little girl because she thought her overweight and unattractive. But Aibileen knew that true character is developed by feeding the soul within. Her own strength of character and faith in God empowered her to be kind, and eventually helped her break free from her own bondage.

In Celebrate Recovery, a faith-based 12 step program, we often say “hurting people, hurt people.” In other words, people pass pain onto others because they themselves are wounded. And the cycle continues until someone looks to God for healing.

Aibileen refused to dispense the poison forced on her. She could have seen this child as her enemy. Instead, she gave this innocent one, life-giving encouragement. Aibileen chose to bless and not curse. Even as she left, Aibileen turned to the child, to infuse hope one last time through this loving exchange.

We live in a world of hurting people. Parents scream at their children and handle them roughly. Children bully other students to the point of despair and suicide. Husbands and wives inflict mortal wounds on each other in a daily battle of words. People curse one another in traffic for trivial infractions. Daily proof that hurting people hurt people.

I don’t know about you, but I need encouraging words from others. We can choose to bless those around us instead of taking out our frustrations on them. We can look past the unattractive exterior and see the potential of the soul inside, who just like us, hungers to be loved. And, we can expose evil by speaking courageously against it.

Paul encouraged the Christians in Rome to, “not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21, NIV). God gave Aibileen the will and the courage to respond to her situation with good. I want to live like that. And just in case no one has told you today: You are important - a cherished creation of the Almighty God, worthy of love.

Beth Vice

1 comment:

  1. Makes me think of my current work and challenges me. The second to last paragraph really spoke to me.