Kill em with kindness
The following is the transcript from a talk that one of our young adults, John Nemmer gave for the event Fiat on November 6th. It was an absolute honor to hear him present. If you haven't heard his story and witness of faith, I think you'll really enjoy his perspective. Give a read here...
Hi! My name is John Nemmer. I am 21 years old. I have Cerebral Palsy. I speak with a Dynavox. Although I am totally physically disabled, I am not mentally slow at all... I reason, learn, think, and understand just like any other adult. I have Cerebral Palsy because when I was being born, the oxygen was cut off from my brain and I died in my mother's womb. The doctors did an emergency surgery on her to get me out. They did CPR on me and brought me back to life again by the grace of God.
Although I am totally body trapped, I don't ever get sad about it at all. I believe God made me this way for a reason. My Catholic Faith has always been a really big part of my life. I wish to serve God with all of my heart, all of my soul, and all of my mind - with everything that I can do for His glory in the future. For God alone is my true heart's desire and I long to serve Him. I wanted to become a priest at one point in my life. However, I know that dream couldn't come true unless God totally heals me which I know He won't do unless it is His holy will.
I believe I am disabled so I can give the most glory to Him in my life. Just a little while ago God showed me in a very special way that He wants me to offer my whole life to Him forever - by maybe becoming a religious brother in the future. I love God so much and I truly trust in Him with my whole heart. As for the topic of kindness, which I chose for today's FIAT talk, God is so kind to us and He loves us just for who we are, even though we greatly sin against Him. He has made Himself human to show us the true way to everlasting life, paid for our own sins by suffering and dying for us, and rose from the dead so death has no power over us anymore. He has made Himself truly present in the Eucharist so He can still remain with us here on Earth, and so we aren't afraid to come and worship Him.
It just blows my mind about how kind God truly is to us, and the whole world, because we all sin against Him, but yet, He keeps calling us back to His love and mercy when we go away from Him, and he does it in a very loving and humble way. He is very patient with us and always looks at us with perfect love and compassion that we are not worthy of. He keeps reaching out to draw us even more close to Him. God never gives up loving us and offering us His mercy. Are we always that way with other people? Well, I don't think so, because we have a fallen nature that causes us to turn back to sin, over and over again. Because of that, we often have a difficult time being good and kind to others, especially to those who greatly offended us and hurt us in the past.
God truly understands that, and He does not expect us to be perfect because only He is. However, God does expect us to try our best to live holy lives. As Christians, we are all called to love everyone, and to show people that we truly love them. We have to try our best to always treat people with great kindness. I know that could be really hard for us to do sometimes because there will always be some days when we will get frustrated and impatient with others. It is on those days when we should ask Jesus the most, to give us a heart like His so even though we get stressed out because of life, God will give us the grace to overcome the times when we lose our patience, and start to be unkind to others. Let's pray for that grace tonight when we adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament - Who is love, kindness, and mercy Himself.
Some bible verses about kindness which I can relate to are as follows: "Children, let us love not in word or speech, but in deed and truth;" 1 John 3:18. The people in my life - my family, friends, teachers, and therapists have shown me great kindness. They have set an example for me, as to how I should treat others, respecting their strengths and weaknesses.
"But to you who hear, I say love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back" - Luke 6:27 - 30.
People who don't know me at first often think I am very mentally slow, they treat me like I can't understand anything they say, and talk to me as if I were a young child. These words of Jesus help me to have compassion for the people who misjudge me and don't see me as the person I am. Thank you for asking me to speak with you tonight about kindness.
- May the love and kindness of our Eucharistic Lord Jesus Christ, the Communion of the Holy Spirit, and the glory of God the Father be with you all - Amen!
John is a regular writer for SGYM3 and shares insights and prayer language from the heart. He is a parishioner at St. Greg's and you can find John faithfully at Mass every week with his loving family. Feel free to say "hi" when you see him!