Love is patient, love is kind.
—1 Corinthians 13:4
A man went to the airport only to find his flight delayed, so he sat down near a restaurant. It was in the middle of the afternoon, and the restaurant was mostly empty. Only one person was there, a homeless and shabbily dressed man with his head resting on the tabletop. Suddenly a man who appeared to be the restaurant manager walked toward the table. The observer thought, “He’s going to throw him out.” But instead, as the manager walked past, he set a hot dog on the table. On the way back he set a cup of coffee next to the hot dog.
It was a simple kindness. But in effect the manager was saying, “In a few minutes I’m going to have to ask you to leave. But for a moment let us act like we are in heaven: ‘Welcome to God’s feast.’”
In a beautiful sermon on kindness Professor Tom Long suggests that biblical kindness is an act of civil disobedience. It’s a refusal to treat people according to the customs and traditions of the status quo. It insists on seeing people and treating them in light of who they will be in God’s future. It means treating people the way God in Jesus treats us: “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Whom can you treat with kindness today?
Father, show us how to do simple acts and say simple words that lighten people’s loads. In the name of Jesus, who carries all our burdens, Amen.
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