Kindness, Actually.

“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” Jennifer Dukes Lee

When I was pregnant with my son, I prayed many things over him – but one thing came to mind every time.

Kindness.

In a world where we are pushed to be more, do more, see more; my prayer was and continues to be that he will be kind.

We can’t all be academics, sporty, good looking or accomplished; but we all have an opportunity to be kind.

It is the moments of kindness which stick most clearly in my memory; I don’t necessarily remember presents I’ve been bought (though I do love a present!) but I remember people’s kindnesses towards me.

I remember the man who helped me get the buggy down the stairs the first time I got the tube with the baby.

I remember the friend who dropped everything to come over and lighten my load when I was struggling.

I remember the coffee my husband brings me in the morning.

And the kindnesses we share are but a reflection of the King of kindness.

God’s kindness, His hesed (literally translated as lovingkindness) is at the heart of who He is and everything He does.

Our hope is anchored in God’s loving kindness towards us, even in the darkest of times.

In the many psalms and passages of lament in the Bible; when people are crying out their most desperate petitions of pain to God, it is God’s kindness which marks the turning point to praise – because it’s what the promises of God rest upon and the praises to God rise from.

It’s the tenderness of Jesus as He wept, the care of the Father as He provided for the Israelites in exile and the presence of the Holy Spirit who translates our groans into prayers.

The most famous verse in the book of Lamentations 3.22 is the one which speaks of God’s kindness in the midst of prayers of agony.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;therefore I will wait for him.”

Our laments rely on the kindness of God – and they are not disappointed.

Michael Card writes in his book “Inexpressible” which studies the word hesed through the Bible:

“He demonstrates his incomparable strength by means of his infinite kindness.”

God’s infinite kindness isn’t separate from his power and might – it’s the vehicle of it.

And it’s our role to be His vehicles of hesed on earth.

To show loving kindness to our families, our friends, our neighbours and our strangers.

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