"Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving . . ." - Ephesians 4:32
Preacher Tom Long once observed that the gospel's brand of kindness is different from just being nice to others. It's "an act of civil disobedience."
Like the time he was waiting to catch a flight, sitting at a gate across from a fast food joint. The place was empty except for a disheveled, muttering man slumped unsteadily over a table. Long saw the manager heading his way and assumed he was going to throw the guy out. But the manager was carrying a hot dog and set it down in front of the man. Then he went back for a coffee and set that down too.
It was as if the manager was saying, "In a few minutes I'm probably going to have to be the manager of this restaurant, and you're going to have to be an undesirable disheveled guy, and I'm going to have to ask you to leave. But for a moment, for as long as we can, let's be who we are becoming by grace, let's be who we will be fully and finally in God's future. Here. Welcome to the feast, brother. Welcome to the feast."
Every kindness is a refusal to live by the status quo. Every kindness disobeys the orders of the world. Every kindness pulls back the curtain on God's tomorrow.
Let's pull back a lot of curtains today.
Make us disobedient to our present and obedient to your future, O God, so that we may truly be kind.
Mary Luti is Interim Senior Pastor, Wellesley Village Church, Wellesley, Massachusetts.