(A gift of the whole booklet was mailed to me. Here is more on the "kindness" theme. Author unknown).
We left off yesterday when we were considering the fact that Jesus can be as hard as flint at the very moment He is as tender as a mother. He can be tenderly terrible and terribly tender.
A little orphaned boy was practically adopted by a soldier during the war. One day he let slip a swear word, and when he did, he looked around for the disapproval and rebuke of his adopting guardian. But instead the soldier laughed and said, "Never mind, Sonny, say all that kind of thing you want."
The little fellow thought a moment and then burst into tears and said, "If you were my father, you wouldn't say that." He felt he had wanted and needed something more than sentimental kindness. He wanted to be saved by hard refusals.
With this redemptive content put into kindness, we now consider our growth in kindness. Perhaps now we can quote these lines, since we have put into kindness a higher meaning:
So many gods, so many creeds,
So many paths that wind and wind,
When all this sad world needs
Is just the art of being kind.
That kindness is important is seen by the fact that we remember an act of kindness when all events slip out of memory. The kindness remains. At a time when bitterness was strong between Britain and India, I found a prominent Indian wearing a white flower in his buttonhole each day. He explained to me that when he was in Britain studying, the English landlady used to put a white flower in his buttonhole each day. The kindness stood out like a star on a dark night of bitterness.
The Finnish people have treated me with many honors—large crowds, eager listeners—but one thing that stands out is the act of an unknown Finnish lady who ran out into the street in the snow, stopped the car and handed me a flower through the window. That flower blooms fresh and fragrant in my grateful memory.
O Father, help me this day to do some act of kindness that may live in somebody's memory forever. Amen.
Affirmation for the day: I cover all ugly unkindliness with the same robe of kindliness with which He covers my ugliness.