Just before I went to first grade, my family moved away from our home in the very small, rural town of Mexico, New York (for just two years) to the much bigger city area of East Hartford, Connecticut. The morning of my first day of first grade was filled with so much frenzied activity as four of the five children in my family all had to get situated in our new classrooms in an unfamiliar building with unfamiliar faces.
I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but apparently I had settled myself into the wrong classroom. Just as all the craziness was turning to calm and all the children found their places, I suddenly found a very pretty woman with gentle eyes and a sweet smile kneeling down in front of my desk so that we were at eye level. She asked me my name. I told her. She then told me she would really like to be my teacher because I had such beautiful blue eyes. Then she held out her hand to me and asked if I would like to come over and be a student in her class. I said, “Yes, Ma’am,” took her hand and walked – well, kind of skipped – with her across the hall where she had a very special desk waiting just for me, where she could always see my beautiful blue eyes.
Kindness. Extra, gentle, thoughtful, loving kindness. It wasn’t required. It wasn’t expected. That morning sitting in the wrong desk in the wrong classroom, there could have been very different words, attitudes and actions that came at me. But I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be reading about them right now. This kindness from this precious teacher, that took only a moment from her, has been one of my most treasured, happy and repeated memories of my entire, and mostly very painful, childhood. That precious woman made me feel special and wanted.
She gave the same kind of kindness that our God has for us. He comes to us – Immanuel, God with us – and calls us by name. He tells us we are beautiful to Him. He tells us He wants us with Him and holds out His Holy Hand to lead us to where we should go.
Kindness makes such a difference and it costs us so little. Yet, God’s ultimate kindness to us cost Jesus His life. God chose this way to let us know how very special and wanted we are.
…whoever is kind to the needy honors God. – Proverbs 14:31
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32
Love is kind – 1 Corinthians 13:4
Today…and tomorrow…and the next day…and the next, choose to be kind. Kinder than you may feel. Kinder than is expected. Kinder than is necessary. Kinder than you think someone deserves.