Tuesday 18th April 2020
Jesus’ hands were kind hands,
doing good to all,
Healing pain and sickness,
blessing children small,
Washing tired feet and saving
those who fall;
Jesus’ hands were kind hands,
doing good to all.
The words of a song I first learned in Sunday school, will let you in on the fact that today’s
“Fruit of the Spirit is Kindness”
Kindness was something that was being highlighted on the BBC news programme yesterday morning when I tuned into see what the latest news on the corona virus was.
And every day it seems we hear more and more about how people are rallying round to help others in their communities.
There are initiatives where a small army of volunteers are helping to collect shopping and medicines for those unable to get out, but also stories of folks who are able to see a need and respond.
I certainly know the blessing of many acts of kindness to me here at the house, and it seems to me when I go for my daily walk that folks are more ready to give a wave, or ask “how you doin?”
When someone demonstrates kindness to us, it makes our heart glow, brings a smile to our face, and can in some cases turn lives around. I read recently that Kindness may be one of the most underrated fruits of the Spirit.
We read in 1 John 4:19, “ We love because God first loved us.” I believe it is also true that we are kind because God is kind to us.
Time and again God shows kindness to us, even when we don’t deserve it, God is kind and merciful. And, as we receive, so our hearts are moved to respond.
Theologian William Barclay once said, “More people have been brought to faith by the kindness of real Christian love than by all the theological arguments in the world”
I wonder how many lives have been changed by someone showing the fruit of kindness.
I remember a lady who worked in the soup kitchen in Alloa. She often came across as a stern woman, and I often gave her a wide berth. A young man used to come in for his soup, and it turned out that during a stealing raid on a street, he broke into this lady’s home and stile some money. He was given a prison sentence and so we did not see him for some time. The lady he robbed was very hurt and angry too that he should do that to her.
One day around a year later I the young man appeared at the door and asked if he could have some soup. I said “yes just go in to the hall and someone will see to you.” I forgot the lady whom he’d robbed was on duty, and I held my breath to see what she would do.
What happened next was amazing. She came over and asked how he was, he could not look at her but said” sorry, and then she sat beside him and shared bread and soup and a cup of tea, all the while chatting and listening to his story.
It felt in a strange way that I was witnessing a Communion of sorts. Jesus kindness made manifest through the kindness and mercy of the woman.
On the way out the young man said to me” I canny believe how kind she was after what I did” Something we could all echo when we think of God’s kindness to us.
“And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32)
One final thought.........remember we are still growing in the Spirit.......we don't always get things right..............don't forget to be kind to your self.
May you know, and share kindness today,