"Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. The number of the men who [ate] was five thousand."
~ Mark 6:41, 44
I have often wondered what our lives would be like if we believed that even the smallest act of kindness would be multiplied by many? The "Pay it Forward," in line at the coffee shop. Stopping to listen to someone share a story from their life. A moment of gratitude when a stranger steps aside, holding a door, to let you enter first.
All are things that my grandmother would have shared was practicing, "Good manners," but in our world today, they have become simple moments that drive a YouTube video to "viral status."
My grandmother also used to tell us, "Kindness doesn't cost a penny."
An act of kindness, an act of faithfulness, every gesture of love, every word of forgiveness, every little bit of joy and peace is worth the chance that it will multiply. Especially as long as there are those in the world willing to receive it.
Jesus would remind us that being different from one another doesn't mean that we cannot help one another. The story of the Samaritan reminds of one who helped the stranger who had been beaten.
Jesus also tells us that "whatever you have done to the least of these, you have already done to me."
I will admit, in the divided world that we seem to encounter each day, practicing these "random acts of kindness," almost have become part of a mission that seems to be impossible. Even when the act is simply done, "because," there is sometimes suspicion as to the "why?"
We must remind ourselves that as a whole, we are all better than this. Jesus turns to the one who would betray him and tells him to "go and do what you must." The reminder that we may not always understand the big picture, or what others may be going through.
While I don't always understand the mentality behind some decisions, or choices, made by others, it still should not keep me from practicing kindness. Our woundedness and pain definitely serve as reminders of what "might" happen. But in the end, living our lives as instruments of Christ in the world today, providing a source of kindness, will always make some difference. Even if we don't believe that it will.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.