I grew up in a pretty challenging neighbourhood. It was a rough and tumble world. I can remember in one of my early grades, having a substitute teacher come and fill in for quite a period of time. Her name was Mrs. Philipps. I can remember, vividly, there was something very different about her. She actually made learning fun but, above all, she cared for us. She really acted like she loved us. I so looked forward to going to school. She made my day. I found out, some years later, she was a Christian. I will never forget her and how she brought us little kids, from a rough neighbourhood, some real kindness.
I read these words by Billy Graham this week and it reminded me of her, “Often the only thing a child can remember about an adult in latter years when he or she is grown, is whether or not that person has been kind to him or her.” Paul writes, “Love is patient, love is kind.” (1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV)
What is kindness? Well, simply put, it is love that initiates to help meet a need. It is the flip side of patience, which is often the more passive act. It can take a thousand different forms but at the centre is the desire to act mercifully and practically, to step up to the plate for someone else in their time of need. It takes patience, perception and sometimes persistence. It is at the heart of servanthood!
I have been so impressed by the many acts of kindness you folks are doing for each other – phone calls, emails, texts, prayer etc. – you are living the love of Jesus. You are really sending such positive, encouraging messages, along with so many others across our country, as we ride out this storm together. Please continue to remember, “How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it.”
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12 (NIV)
God bless you and keep you in His care – Pastor Ralph