“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
“Always Be Kind”
This little phrase has been our family motto ever since we started raising kids. Whenever a little spat comes up between the kids or that “crisis” moment that always pops up in different relationships, we try to remind ourselves of this theme and apply it to every situation. I was reminded of this important truth as I was driving from looking at a job in eager pursuit of home.
I stopped at a Taco Bell to grab some lunch, only to notice that my oil pressure gauge dropped. My truck is not a new one for sure, but it gets me from point A to point B, while burning a little extra oil in the process. I quickly popped the hood and grabbed my “oil reserve can” and as carefully as possible, poured about 2 quarts into the engine. Inevitably some oil spilled onto the hot engine causing it to smoke a bit. It was at this moment, a young man, who I will call Joe (probably 16 or 17 years of age) pulled up next to me.
Joe voiced his concern after seeing my smoking engine and asked if everything was ok and if he could help at all. He said he didn’t know much about vehicles, but knew a couple things that might help. I told him that it was ok and that it was just some oil that had spilled over causing the smoke, but thanked him for asking. Joe headed inside to drop off his delivery and I finished up closing the hood and cleaning off my hands. Joe came back out with a wad of paper napkins and told me to pop the hood real quick. He wanted to help and check the fluid levels. To be honest, I was rather surprised that he was that caring of a total stranger. It’s easy to ask someone if they need help, but to actually persist and meet a need is remarkable. After Joe checked the fluids and we confirmed that everything looked good, I thanked him and Joe hopped in his truck and left.
As I drove home my thoughts turned to Joe and his simple act of kindness and his persistence in helping me. I was challenged. All too often I am either too busy or honestly, don’t care enough to slow down my “crazy” schedule and reach out to always be kind to those I meet on a daily basis. Being kind can be so simple. It can be demonstrated in meeting a need that someone has, giving a simple word of encouragement to a person, or even helping a family member with a job or chore.
Living out our little family motto will come out of obedience to Jesus’ command to love your neighbor as you love yourself (see Mark 12:31). I want to grow in kindness and love towards others and recognize the opportunities around me to live out these truths.
In this Fall season, let’s be on the lookout for ways we can all demonstrate God’s love through simple acts of kindness.