Christmas 1993 was an emotional season as my husband had been out of work for five months. It was a humbling time for our family, with four children age eight and under. We knew that our Father, who had the authority to change our situation in an instant (but hadn’t as of yet), was doing a work within us as we waited. The season stretched us as we experienced the receiving end of generosity.
During that time, we had a large sign hanging on our kitchen wall that said ‘God is with us’ in Hebrew. And He was. Throughout those months, it was the body of Christ that reminded us – through their love and acts of kindness – that in times of plenty or little, God is with us. He is our provider. It was the family of God who surrounded us and held us up when we were afraid and discouraged and wondering why we were still waiting for the right job opportunity to open up.
We experienced such support and kindness from our family and friends during that season, but one specific memory stands out very clearly in my mind.
It happened after a church service one December morning. Our son’s two good friends – six-year-old twins – walked up to me with radiant smiles. They gently extended their tiny hands toward me with small, beautifully-wrapped Christmas boxes. They could barely contain their joy at watching me open their love-filled gifts. Inside I found several handmade ornaments created out of Teddy Grahams that they had carefully painted and glued with pretty little ribbons for our Christmas tree.
I sensed a discomfort from their mom as she stood behind them. I’m sure she assumed that my kids were inundating me with many Christmas crafts of their own, but she explained that the twins insisted on giving these tiny treasures to me. Even though I could understand her hesitation, she had no idea how profound her kids’ sweet, innocent gifts were to me. Their act of kindness was as if Jesus himself were saying: “I see you.” He sees me. He sees us. And He is our provider.
Put on, then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience (Colossians 3:12).
I’ve never forgotten that act of kindness and for years had placed those treasured bear ornaments on my tree, pondering the holy memory of years gone by (until eventually someone placed them too low on the tree branches and our dog ate them as her own Christmas treat! :)).
1. Who has God placed into your life to show special kindness to, even if it’s inconvenient?
2. When has someone surprised you by pouring kindness upon you when you were hurting or in need? Pray about contacting them and telling them how they were Jesus to you in those moments.
3. Listening prayer exercise: Ask Jesus: In what ways are you presently using me to show the fruit of your Holy Spirit, KINDNESS, to others? In what ways would you like me to make more room for you to do so?
Kathy Morgan has been married to her best friend, Bob, for over 37 years. Together they have four grown, married, children and seven grandchildren. Kathy is a Hospital Chaplain and loves mentoring women, hosting ministry events in her home, prayer, cooking, reading historical Biblical fiction, and eating all forms of potatoes.