Your Kindness Gave Me Courage

“Your Kindness Gave Me Courage”

by Virginia Knowles
Your kindness gave me courage 
A gentle conversation
A thought-filled gaze
A good deed done 
A warm embrace
A place at your table  
A long letter, short note, silent words
A prayer for wisdom and strength
A gift from the heart.

Surely you did not fully know
(How could you?)
What that would do in me.
Could you sense my soul’s burdens:
The dark and doubt and defeat?

Then, just then, your kindness came as
Light: luminous
Love: lifting and leading me with 
Steady steps toward faith, hope, and joy.

Even though you could not fathom
Its deep reach and widening ripples 
I knew then what I know now
And what I live a little more each day.

The very remembrance
Keen and bittersweet
Still fills me with dignity and wonder that
I can see, speak, serve, sing and
Bring light and love to others.

I bless you, my friend, with all my heart.
May the Lord Almighty bless you beyond
Full measure, pouring over the rims, for
Your kindness gives me courage.


I wrote the first draft of this poem on Sunday, my 51st birthday. The opening line has taken root in my heart for many months; now it has bloomed into a poem. I think back on myriad stunning kindnesses showered on me by family, friends and even strangers as I have faced various continuing challenges in life. I have only just begun trying to thank each one personally, and I will continue. 

I had thought, on approaching my 50th last year, that I would compile a book of essays, poems, and photos as a memoir and call it Pilgrimage and Jubilee. I have not yet accomplished that, but I can at least share links to several of my free verse poems that reflect my life journey. Most of them already have photos and essays to go with them, so there’s that. Here they are in reverse chronological order.
A dragonfly
on my birthday –
quick snap!

More posts about kindness:

And lastly, a few quotes:

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.  ~~ Albert Schweitzer

The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing, not curing… that is a friend who cares.  ~~ Henri Nouwen

A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love. ~~ Saint Basil 


About virginiaknowles

I am a mother and grandmother of a huge family, and I still home school my youngest daughter. I write to stay sane. My WordPress blog is a combination of my Blogspot blogs, and may not be continually updated.
This entry was posted in Authentic Life, Do Justice ~ Love Mercy, Fellowship of Friends,, Joy of Mentoring, Life Transitions, Pilgrimage and Jubilee, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Your Kindness Gave Me Courage

  1. Candace says:

    Beautiful! I'm always so impressed with people who can write poetry. It is definitely not one of my gifts :). I hope you get to put your book together!

  2. Thanks, Candace! I noticed you posted after me on the Wholehearted Home Linkup – and I enjoyed your article, too!

  3. I was thinking about kindness early this a.m. & decided to pray for more of it. Your post was the first I read from the Wise Woman link up & I'm so glad I did! I also really appreciate your insights in the post about Naomi & the rest of your speech from a few years ago. Thank you for sharing some good thoughts! Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

  4. Thank you for your kind words, Cynthia! I'm glad my post was providential!

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