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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

16 February 2011: Linda Cawsey, Petersfield Methodist Church

Taking the Extra Step

Last month we heard that a young paratrooper had become Britain's 350th military fatality in Afghanistan after he ignored a direct order and ran to help an injured colleague.

During the inquest of the 7/7 bombing at King's Cross, I was deeply impressed by one of the survivors stating 'Of course I would like my two legs back, but I received something more precious in the humanity of other travellers which is a bond which I experienced and can never be taken away'.

Let's pray that we will never be faced with similar challenges to these brave souls but we can turn our focus outwards to the people around us. Let's really see the mother struggling with a young child, the 'Big Issue' seller, the elderly person trying to cross the road under a heavy weight of shopping, and our neighbour whom we greet but pass by. Let's see them as people who need kindness, compassion, a warm smile or an encouraging word. We often underestimate the significance of a kindly word, a generous act, a genuine listening ear.

Now and then we hear of a person on the brink of despair given hope by the kindness of someone who thought they had done only a very small thing. Mother Teresa said: "God doesn't expect us to do great things, but to do small things with great love." So look behind what you see on the surface, see the real person and give a small act of kindness with love.

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