“Be kind to one another, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you” (Eph 4:31-32).
In her book, In My Grandmother’s House: Black Woman, Faith, and the Stories We Inherit, Yolanda Pierce, dean of Howard Divinity School, tells the story of how she experienced Jesus during her childhood through the actions of her grandmother and those around her. Pierce writes:
For my grandmother, Jesus was the lover of her soul. Jesus was the burden bearer. Jesus was the heart fixer and the mind regulator. Jesus was the subject of her songs when she baked biscuits on Sunday morning. Jesus was the love on her lips when she pressed my hair in the kitchen on Saturday night. Jesus would show up when my grandmother had coffee with Mother Johnson. Jesus would stop by when the missionary circle met in our house. The six-year-old me would not have hesitated to run and borrow a cup of sugar or two cups of flour from our neighbor Jesus, like I would from Ms. Tina down the hall, because that is how real Jesus was to my grandmother. (p. 10).
I experienced Jesus this summer through a nurse in the emergency room. The nurse graduated from Grand View this past year and she recognized me when I was admitted. I think she recognized both my embarrassment and fear at that moment. In a kind voice, she said, “Hi Pastor Russ. I’m sorry you are here, but we are going to take good care of you.” She did just that. Through her skill and genuine care, I knew Jesus was with me in that room.
In a world bent on tearing at each other, Kindness has a way of putting us back together. God is in kind and kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. It is also a way for to bring healing to the many divisions we create.
May we show Jesus to others through our kindness.