A Man of Gentle Kindness

Kindness, so powerful yet so underused.

Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. How would you describe kindness in your own words? Friendly, generous, warm-hearted, soft spoken; these are all words I would associate with being kind.

Kindness is honestly one of the greatest gifts you can give someone. As Christians, kindness is something He expects from us. It allows Christ's love to shine through us. He doesn't want us to be unkind, we are to be different.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:32

This is my Father. When I think of kindness, I would imagine his face might be in the dictionary beside it.

He has went to the same church since he was a child.  My Grandmother taught Sunday School for years there.  When my parents got married, they continued to go to the same church.  There are members of that church that prayed for them and alongside them when they were adopting a baby.  There are members of that church that were there that first Sunday they walked in holding that sweet baby, and they all rejoiced.  They've prayed for each other and beside each other.  They've fellowshiped together for many, many years.  They've shook his hand every Sunday for over 50 years.

Throughout my lifetime, my Dads kind gentle spirit has always been shown both inside and outside of our home.  He is one of the only people I know that can find good in any situation and in any person.  If he had heard someone say something unkind to him, his response was always the same.  They didn't mean it that way.  If he would hear me saying something unkind, he would always remind me that we are Christians, and God doesn't want us to be unkind.  If someone stole from him, he would brush it off by saying they must need it more than I do.

Over the years time and age hasn't been kind to him, although you would never know it.  He's nearly 75% deaf and can only hear if it's loud.  If there is background noise he can't make out anything.  He's also completely blind in one eye and nearly blind in the other.  

But he still goes to church every Sunday.  He doesn't drive anymore, so church is the one day every week he gets out of the house.

He can hear most of the sermons, because of where he sits. But he can't read the song lyrics on the screen in the front, he can't read the words in the hymn book and he can't see the writing in his Bible (that he still faithfully carries to be a testimony to others).

He loves greeting others, although his words may be loud (because he's deaf).  He loves shaking everyone's hand, although it may be harder than normal (because his hands have no feeling).  He loves talking to others, although he may have to stand a little closer (because he's blind).  

He loves being kind, and making you feel welcome.

If we have a problem with an 80-year-old mans kindness that doesn't mean we should take a closer look at him, it means we should take a step back and look closer at ourselves. 

You can change lives with your actions. You can change lives by your words. You can change lives with your kindness. You can change lives by allowing Christ's love to shine through you. I've watched my Father do all of those things. 

Don't ever be afraid to show your kindness.  You might be the one voice in their life at the moment that they need to hear. Your encouragement might be the one thing that keeps them going. Maybe you are the one who is to help them see Jesus.