What a joy to know that I am a child of God. In a world so filled with uncertainty and pain I see the Presence of God in the beauty of the trees, the calmness of the swans on the river, the gentle breeze moving the leaves in the trees, and I rejoice in the beauty of God’s creation! When we look and see the beauty around us, it lifts our spirits and anchors us in the sure knowledge of God’s presence!

Today I thought we could dig a little deeper as we look at LOVE IS KIND. (1. Cor:4-7).

What does the word of God say about kindness. Here are a few examples:
Eph.4:33 – Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Col: 3:12 – Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy deeply loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.
Acts 28:2 – The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. This speaks of universal kindness, it’s part of our very make-up.
If we look at the last part of Luke 35:6. It says … because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
In Gal 5:22-24 we are told that the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. This kindness can be a consistent part of our daily lives! How wonderful.
Let’s look at some practical examples.

I’m sure like me, many of you have that one (or more) scratchy person in our lives – the one who makes my hackles rise and my impatience fly to the top. Have you ever thought why? I certainly have! Is it perhaps that God places them in our lives to help us to develop the fruit of the spirit. If we take a step back from what we are feeling and try to see them as loved by God and look kindly on them it’s amazing how the atmosphere can change for the better.

I find it easier to show kindness to those around me, people I know and interact with. I’m sure we are all quick to help someone who needs help, be it practical help or even a listening ear, a place to unburden one’s feelings.

Here is the challenge: What about total strangers? The beggar in the street, the people in shops, young mothers pushing prams. just a few examples. Are we so busy with our to-do lists that we are totally unaware of others ? – it’s just so easy to overlook another’s difficulties in today’s hectic life filled with problems of our own.

Let me give you a couple of examples from my life. I’m working on mindfulness, trying to stay in the present moment – or as Brother Lawrence would say, “practicing the Presence”. (Its a wonderful little book to read). Being present to the Presence of God in all that I do.

When I walk into town, I look at the people I see, I become fully aware of them. On one occasion I was going up in the lift with a young woman with a baby. I smiled at her and commented on her baby. As we chatted, she poured out how difficult her night had been. I gave her full attention and a listening ear, words of encouragement and she left smiling. Just a simple act of kindness.

On another occasion as I came out of a shop, I saw an elderly gentleman struggling to get his purchases into a carrier bag. I simply walked up to him with a big smile and said “ my goodness can I help you.” He was so grateful and as I was packing his bag he told me that he was struggling as he had a very sore hand. Just a simple act of kindness.

I think we are all challenged by the beggars on the streets. We have a number of young folk here who find themselves on the street. I walked up to a young man who was cuddling his small dog sitting on his lap. I introduced myself, asked his name and the name of his dog, and then asked how he had ended up in the street. He told me his story and when he had finished I looked into his eyes and told him he was a valuable human being, that God had a purpose and a plan for his life and that I would be praying for him. He looked at me amazed and said “nobody has ever said something like that to me before !” I have developed a relationship with him and others and always stop to chat. I listen to the Holy Spirit and give what help I can, as I feel directed. Just a simple act of kindness.

It’s exciting as I never know who God will put in my path, and each day is another adventure of walking and listening.

I leave you with a wonderful quote I read recently:
Kindness is more than deeds, it’s an attitude, an expression, a look, a touch. It’s anything that lifts another person.
As we walk through our daily lives, let’s allow God’s kindness to flow through us and touch others.

Be blessed