LENT DAY 31
Kindness for Kindness By Pastor Mike Mannes
It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others. (Ephesians 2:10 TLB)
For God so love the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
Sometimes I think of the kindness of God in sending His Son, Jesus, who knew no sin, to become sin, so we could become right. He died so we can live. He took our sin and shame and guilt to the cross, and gave us forgiveness and LIFE.
And what an honour it is that we get to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and show kindness to the world around us.
Almost a year ago my son Gabe was playing basketball and some close friends of ours came to watch with their kids…their son is seven, and Gabe is a bit of a hero in his eyes. I want to read you an account Corinne wrote about what happened that night:
The stands were filling up, warm-up music was on, a group of boys busy setting up the metal garbage cans ready to make some noise. Number 1 had been at the gym for hours already doing everything he could do to be ready to win this game. He had 20 points before the quarter was out leading his team to a certain victory.
In through the gym doors came a seven year old boy holding tightly to the hand of his dad, anxiety etched on his face. This was his first basketball game and he was here to watch his friend, Number 1, play the game he was so gifted for.
Haven didn’t look at the world like other kids did. He saw meaning in things other people didn’t even notice and felt things acutely that didn’t even register with other children. He didn’t really like to talk and found social interactions almost unbearably difficult. But he really wanted to watch his friend, Number 1, play basketball so in he came, clutching his dad’s hand tightly, finding a seat in the crowded stands.
Number 1 didn’t disappoint his little friend Haven. God had gifted this player with a great gift and he was playing like he was born to. Halftime came, and Haven hadn’t uttered a single word except a few to his dad, so engrossed he was in watching his friend play basketball.
The coach was done his halftime talk and that was when Number 1 left the bench and made his way across the gym floor and up onto the bleachers where Haven sat. Sweat coating him he held out his fist to Haven. Haven made his little hand into a fist and they bumped. Number 1 headed back down the bleachers over to the bench as Haven’s face turned a deep scarlet, the smallest smile on his lips.
Heaven held its breath in that moment.
In the midst of the banging of the garbage cans and the cheers and the sweat and the intensity was an anxious seven-year-old boy holding out his little fist for his friend, Number 1, to bump.
In the midst of our striving and our sweating and our intensity to produce and to succeed, always look for the little fist being held out for us to bump.
Those are the moments we are created for—those are the moments that make heaven hold its breath.
Prayer: The kindness of God is not shown anywhere as clearly as it is on the cross. This Easter, let’s let that sink in and I pray that none of us would miss opportunities to be kind to others in the same way that God has been kind to us.