Love is patient, love is kind…
—1 Corinthians 13:4
Snow was falling on the beautiful seminary campus, about 30 miles north of Boston. As a retired person downsizing his possessions, the new 70-something interim president didn’t own a snow shovel. He wondered how he would get his car out, especially in this New England blizzard. But a few minutes later he noticed a young student, outside with her shovel, digging out cars in the parking lot. Soon other students came to help her. When he got into his car, the president said, he felt as if the whole world looked different.
We appreciate a kindness when it is done to us. And by the power of God’s spirit, we can show kindness to others. Jesus-followers can spend huge amounts of time arguing about musical taste, organizational strategies, and theological fine points. Each discussion has a time and place. But most often following Jesus means doing simple things like being kind. What a different world it would be if we practiced kindness!
Kindness has a surprising kind of beauty. It’s a sort of human masterpiece. Face to face with kindness, we might even find ourselves staring. Our heart might ache, in awe at such beauty. Over time, kindness is strong enough to soften the crustiest human heart, and it’s muscular enough to grab hold of the biggest cynic.
When you see kindness—real kindness—you never forget. And you want to be kind yourself.
Father of all kindness, thank you for your kindness to us in Jesus. It is a most beautiful gift. Amen.
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