The minute I saw her I was wary.
I was just a girl walking into the hallway of my kindergarten class, getting my daily folder out of my cubbie. She was new. A petite girl with lots of curly blond hair, smiling and chatting with my best friend. I suddenly saw my plan of spending recess exclusively with Angie vanishing. So many things went through my mind while I stood by the coat rack taking off winter layers and feeling replaced. Who is this girl with MY friend?
Angie leaned her head down to speak quietly in my rival’s ear. All I heard of the conversation was “It’s Ok, you can take it off. No one will laugh.” Then turning to me, she said, “Heather, this is my friend”. I didn’t hide my reluctance and I’m sure Angie could see I was going to be difficult because she called me out. “She just needs a friend. Everyone needs to be very nice.”
Suddenly the new girl reached up and slowly pulled her pretty blond hair off, revealing a smooth white head. I had never seen a child this way before. I had so many questions I wanted to ask. Angie put the wig in her own cubby and glanced around at the group of us standing there. “She’s fighting cancer.” Was the only information we were given, and with that my best friend put her arm around the new girl’s shoulders and walked into the classroom. As the rest of us followed, I found myself a bit ashamed of my selfishness. Angie was officially the kindest person I knew and I felt honored to be ONE of her friends. There was not a single incident of rude behavior from any of us in Mrs. Pullman’s Kindergarten class that day, because we were following Angie. Kindness leads.
When I was in first-grade, a homeless cat had kittens in our garage. The first clue that they were there was a sweet little “meow” coming from behind our freezer. My brothers freed two of them from their hiding place without any coaxing, but the littlest one was stranded and I was just sure it was afraid for its very life! I lay down with my cheek to the floor and tried to see it with one eye. I tried to reach it for the better part of an hour, but it stayed just outside my grasp. I couldn’t even entice it with a cat’s most famous delights (a bowl of milk and a ball of yarn, of course!)
At last, it moved toward me just a step and I pulled it to safety. I snuggled it, kissed it, and pretty much taught it everything I knew before supper. Looking back, I wonder how it survived my great love. Even though every time I put it down it retreated behind the freezer again, I kept trying…because kindness leads.
So, if kindness leads, where does the Kindness of God lead us? It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. He knows that repentance is a forever-gift; a priceless treasure made possible by His own sacrificial love. His kindness then, leads us to more kindness. The trust developed is never taken advantage of. His kindness leads us to His heart.
God’s Kindness is a lot like these two stories. His kindness challenges our mindsets and causes us to have a change of heart, showing us what it looks like to be selfless, making us dissatisfied with ourselves which motivates us to grow. He also calls us out of hiding, rescuing us from ourselves. He doesn’t force Himself upon us, but like a gentleman, His kindness keeps reaching out even though we keep retreating to our freezer.
Titus 3:3-5 is a Bible verse that says “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy.”
Dear reader, I encourage you, take one step toward Him. Let Him pull you out of that place that has been a shelter only because it is familiar. Let Him lead you to be vulnerable and even uncomfortable in His warm and loving embrace. Let Him inspire selflessness. Let His kindness lead.
Question: Where has kindness led you?