…by Linsay VanderVeen
Can you think of a time in your life when someone showed you great kindness? I’m not talking about the person in front of you buying your Starbucks, but kindness that made a lasting imprint on your life. Most of us have a memory or two tucked away; moments of compassion stamped on our hearts. I have heard stories of groceries and medical bills being paid for, strangers stopping to change tires or help in an accident, Christmas gifts and Thanksgiving baskets delivered at just the right time, nurses comforting frightened patients…the list goes on and on. Each act of kindness left a mark on the lives of those who received it.
In my own life, I have experienced great kindness this last year as I battled cancer. My diagnosis left my family and I feeling overwhelmed and uncertain of the future. The Lord showed us day after day His faithfulness and goodness through the kindness of others. People brought meals. Friends drove me to treatment and provided babysitting for our young son. Countless cards were sent with encouraging words and scriptures. Hundreds of prayers were lifted up on behalf of my health and family. One dear friend left surprises on our front porch every week ranging from homemade chocolate sauce to toilet paper and paper plates. I would cry every time I found her “delivery” because I knew that she was incredibly busy with her own life, yet took the time to bless our family. Her kindness was a beautiful reflection of God’s love and care.
I will never be able to repay each and every person who blessed our family, so instead I have tried to pass on the same kindness to those I come in contact with. Sometimes it’s easy to do, but often it requires something of me. It’s a sacrifice that takes time, energy, willingness, compassion and love. God has given us a perfect example of kindness through his sacrificial love and mercy to us.
It says in Titus 3:4, “but when God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, He saved us, not because of the righteous things we have done, but because of his mercy.”
The reminder of God’s kindness and goodness towards me enables me to extend kindness to others. He helps me to not only see the opportunity to serve, but equips me with compassion, graciousness, and kindness to love others as He has loved and sacrificed for me. I want to bless people as I have been greatly blessed. I want to serve people as I have been served greatly. I want to have mercy as I have been shown great grace and mercy. I want to be kind to others as I have been shown great kindness and I want to love as I have been loved greatly. How about you?
Take a moment and reflect on God’s great kindness and mercy to you. How can you be the living expression of that kindness this week?