by Fran Sandin
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Colossians 3:12 ESV
After Dad passed away, I took Mother to a women’s fall conference in Waco, Texas. We didn’t know any of the participants, but we all had name tags. During a break, I witnessed Mother expressing kindness.
While a young woman stood washing her hands in the restroom, my mother noticed tears running down her cheeks. As the stranger (named Kim) turned to grab a paper towel from the dispenser, Mother approached her, put a hand on her shoulder and said, “Honey, I’m so sorry—is there anything I can do to help?”
At first, Kim was startled that anyone saw her distress, but when Mother’s gentle touch reached her, she burst into tears. They gravitated toward a quiet corner where Kim poured out her heart. Mother nodded and listened intently. After a few minutes with more tears and explanations, Kim wiped her eyes, regained her composure, took a deep breath, and said, “Oh, thank you!! Thank you! I feel so much better now.” The two of them hugged and went their separate ways.
As Mother and I walked to the meeting room, she told me, “Kim was so upset, and I don’t know what was wrong. I couldn’t hear anything she said!” I smiled and thought, Mother could have ignored the young woman. Instead, she displayed the compassion, unconditional love, and gentleness that was so characteristic of her life. Kim needed kindness that day, and she had no idea Mother was hard of hearing.
Mother always kept our small, modest home neat and clean. I watched as she hand-polished copper-bottomed pots and pans. Lacking storage space, she hung the shiny utensils—with magazine photo perfection—on wall hooks above the stove. Treasuring those items displayed respect to my dad, who worked so hard to buy them, and taught me the importance of kindness in doing small tasks well.
Like a kaleidoscope that creates beautiful scenes when colorful glass chips occupy various positions, the word kindness includes many synonyms: compassion, consideration, generosity, sympathy, understanding, friendliness, mercy, forgiveness, gentleness, humility, and patience.
I have sometimes blurted out unkind words because I failed to stop, think, pray, and recall what the Lord has taught me in His Word.
- She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. –Proverbs 31:26 ESV
- Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. –Ephesians 4:32 NIV
- If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. –James 1:26 ESV
- There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. –Proverbs 12:18 NASB
Our culture today challenges us with expressions that are often cold, mean, cruel, and sometimes brutal. How can we show the world that we are “in Christ”? One way is by being kind, speaking truthfully, while remembering we are Christ’s ambassadors on earth.
Acts of kindness and words of kindness are the golden threads that bind us together.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Fran Sandin is a retired nurse, organist, mother, and grandmother living in Greenville, Texas. She and her husband, Jim, have traveled to many countries and states. Her latest book, Hope on the Way, Devotions to Go– contains 52 devotionals for those who love to combine faith and adventure. Visit her website to order with a click on the home page fransandin.com. Hope on the Way has been nominated by Joy and Company in Arlington, Texas, for the Henri Award (for outstanding Christian Literature) both in the Devotional and Christian Living sections.
Join the conversation: What recent opportunities have you had to show kindness?