God is kind. faithfully & undeservingly kind. he knows my heart has been stained with sin & there is nothing on this earth i could ever do to be worthy enough for Him…yet He chooses me anyway. yes. God is kind.
i’ve lived on this island for a month & a half & i have seen the kindness of Jesus in abundance. i’m learning that kindness is Christ reflected in our hearts & every single second is an opportunity to demonstrate that kindness. normally, when i was in the States, i would pass someone while walking down the street or at the store & i wouldn’t really acknowledge them. not in a rude way, but i certainly wasn’t going out of my way to speak to them. i would go into a coffee shop or a restaurant & smile & utter a short & sweet “thanks so much,” & that was as far as i’d allow the conversation to go. i don’t necessarily think this was a bad thing, but lately i’ve come to realize how many sweet stories & lovely conversations i’ve missed out on & i didn’t like that at all.
so i’ve changed the way i do life with strangers. i see them on the street or in line at the farmer’s market or while hiking, & i talk to them. always. & sometimes it doesn’t go very far, but sometimes it does. i’ve made several new friends simply by no longer allowing the conversation to end at “thanks so much.” these are people from all walks of life: elementary aged children, high school graduates, mail men, street artists, single mothers, foreign exchange students, & everything in between. at first it was kind of awkward & uncomfortable, but now i find the time i get to visit with strangers kind of special, because i know that Jesus cherishes every single one of these people (even the strange woman on drugs with purple hair & twenty tattoos.) i want so badly to be a living image of Christ’s kindness, & His kindness is the kind that pursues….even when it’s awkward & uncomfortable.
my favorite book in the whole wide world is To Kill a Mockingbird. i’ve read it at least fifteen times & i still learn from it. one of my favorite parts is when Atticus is teaching his daughter Scout about how to treat people with kindness, & this is what he says,
“you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin & walk around in it.”
i love that. it sounds so weird & intimidating but so genuine & profound. i want to do my very best love these people & take them on a journey that leads to Jesus & if that requires being kind to strangers, then that is what i will do. & if you’re wondering about the sweet stories & lovely conversation that you might be missing out on… i encourage you take a second & be kind to a stranger. i for one am real thankful that when i was far from jesus he didn’t awkwardly pass me by. we must stop rejecting the unfamiliar. we are missing out the blessings of servanthood. & i refuse to miss out any longer.
jesus thank you for loving me. thank you for the ways in which you pursue me & show kindness to me. teach me, father how to serve those who are far from you. give me your eyes to see the needs of others. help me to be brave enough to love & encourage people who are unfamiliar to me. forgive me for the ways that i have failed to show kindness to those around me. i want everyone to know the joy & forgiveness & freedom that comes from christ. thank you for letting me live on this teeny tiny island for the summer to be your hands & your feet & thank you for your grace, it has delighted me more than anything i will ever know.