It sometimes seems that the church is the very last place one finds human kindness.

Sure, I know that “human kindness” isn’t on any list of theological virtues, nor is it to be found in the scriptures.

And yet, that fact is not license for cruelty, indifference, lack of compassion in the church.

Yes, we have candied the concept of love, made it a syrupy emotion.

That is no excuse to turn love into its opposite.

As Christians, we ought to look as these matters in light of the Incarnation. One way to understand the Incarnation is in terms of acknowlegement and recognition. In Christ, God chose not to ignore us. In Christ, God’s eyes see us, acknowledge us and all we are. Those eyes are compassionate eyes, eyes that do not pretend not to see.

Our understanding of church is that we are the Body of Christ, in a most realistic sense. It is not simply a metaphor.

This means that our eyes must also shine with compassion, recognition, acknowledgement. Salvation means that our eyes have been opened, have been transformed, to so shine.

When we do not find that human kindness in the church,  we need to find places where it does exist, create places where it is able to exist, and take refuge.