Mother's column – let you kindness shine


Christian Life

Neline, CNE.news

A child playing outside with bubbles. Photo Unsplash, Stas Ostrikov

Reinout has recently started cycling - without training wheels! Tirelessly, he rides his laps around the small car park opposite our house. But one day, when I want to call him for dinner, I find out he hasn't taken the bike, but the go-kart, complete with a trailer.

A little threatened, he stands at the gate, as he has something to confess: "I scratched a car."

And indeed, the once shiny black Audi parked on the corner of the car park is now marred by an ugly scratch. This really is a problem! I know repainting can lead to hefty sums of money. Besides: cars tend to be regarded as sacred cows in our village. With a heavy heart, we ring the Audi's owners' doorbell. They are not at home; stay of execution. We put a note through the door telling them to stop by.

It all ends with a hiss. The neighbour comes to tell us that there is nothing to worry about. They have grandchildren of their own; they know how things can happen. Relieved and happy, we close the book. And I must adjust my image of my fellow locals for the umpteenth time.

When we moved here after we got married, I was convinced that this village would merely be a stopover station to us; it would never suit us. It surely was one of those closed communities where it’s not easy to get to know the people and where you can't just get in. That is what this region, located in the middle of the Dutch Bible belt, is known for. Those stubborn people, you know.

All prejudices, of course. Sure, we did meet some stubborn locals in the last few years. But they are far outnumbered by all the cordial people we got to know. Let your kindness be known to all people, the apostle Paul says. Stumbling, I try to live up to this rule, and teach my children to do so as well. Fortunately, it takes a village to raise a child. If it would only depended on my example...

Lately, things seem to be moving in the right direction with Reinout in terms of kindness. One afternoon, when the two of us are examining an earthworm he has found, he suddenly confides to me spontaneously, "I love you..." I am completely endeared, but then he continues, "...and my worm too!" Still sweet.

About the author

Neline op de fiets.jpeg

Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (9), Abel (7), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (1).



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