Devotional Series # 3: The Kindness of Jesus
During my early morning reading, I came across a post from (in)courage, by Jennifer Dukes Lee. After receiving a hateful and bitter email from a subscriber, Jennifer stated the following in her article:
I wanted the cycle of meanness to end with me.
I am learning that our attitudes are contagious. Grumpiness and meanness is contagious. Our happiness is contagious. And our kindness is contagious.
Go HERE to read the full article. A worthy read!
Inspiration to Start My Day:
So with these words fresh in my mind, I went to wake my six-year-old daughter up for school. A noteworthy point is that this day was the first day back at school after our two-week winter break. My daughter is not a morning person at any point. (Seriously, this was a child that they had to wake up during naptime at her pre-school. The girl loves her sleep!) Additionally, she blossoms with routine. So, anytime that routine is disrupted and then made to start again, I encounter rebellion.
So armed with the words of the above devotion and the lowest of expectations, I gave myself a little more time and grace to gently wake my daughter. Not that I am ever near perfect with this, but I’ve discovered we both do better when I allow enough time for all aspects of our morning routine.
As a result, amazingly, she was ready rather quickly and with very little drama. Yay me! And her! And thanks be to God!
A Morning of Kindness and Silliness
As we were driving to the bus stop (our bus stop is seven miles away lest you think we are just too lazy to walk. :)), I turned on one of my kids’ favorite CDs, and we belted and danced out the tunes most of the drive and wait for the bus.
While doing said dance moves, my daughter complimented me on my dance moves! She said, “Mommy, I like your dance moves, just a little”. High praise from my six-year-old who many times does not like to admit she likes anything. Her current favorite phrase, whether it be a game, or a new meal is “I like it a little”. So I was floating high from this little bit of praise. 🙂 Of course, she then became embarrassed when someone came to park in front of us. 🙂
As a result of the combination of the above, it caused me to pause and reflect on spreading kindness and how when you intentionally spread kindness or silliness or happiness, it really can make a difference. This is not to say we should live in a world of rose-tinted glasses. The point is, attitude can make all the difference.
Jennifer Dukes Lee
An Example of Kindness From Jesus
Let’s look at just one of the ways Jesus spread kindness.
One of my personal favorites is the story of the bleeding woman. My favorite version comes from Mark 5: 25-34 , NLT.
Jesus is walking through a horde of crowds and he feels power leave him. He then stops to turn around to see who it was. The woman who touched his cloak bravely admitted it was her. Jesus looks down on her with kindness amidst a crowd that probably did not want anything to do with a woman who in all likelihood was: A. poor from spending all her money to be cured and B. considered legally unclean at the time.
Not to mention the Bible states this women had been suffering for twelve years! My friends, as many of you may know on a personal level, twelve years is a long time to suffer.
But, Jesus…Jesus, he stops amidst the crowd to talk to this woman. And if that was not enough kindness, he gives her a blessing of peace and cures her instantly.
What would you do?
My question to you today is what would you do? I am not stating that you should have the power to heal, but…
Would you stop in the crowd if you heard somebody hurting or crying to see what was the matter?
Could you be brave enough?
Of course, kindness doesn’t have to be heroic or life-altering. It is often the smallest of rocks that can create a ripple effect. And like the rock and like the song and compliments of my child, kindness can be created by one tiny movement or one smile.