“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32a NIV)
When my husband John was still here, we used to go on short-term mission trips. These trips were four to six weeks long. We were very aware that we could not accomplish a lot in that short time period, but our prayer was that the group would be encouraging to the native people who lived in the communities.
One of life’s most valuable lessons that I learned on a trip to Brazil was what an act of kindness is. We tell ourselves that it needs to involve much time and money. Christ tells us that it is simply giving something to eat, a cup of water, an invitation, a visit, or any help needed. On this trip, our group was helping to finish a kindergarten school.
John worked on electrical problems, and I worked with women and children. I had taken a quilt that needed to be sewn together. The head of carpentry was kind to make some quilting frames for the job. A number of ladies who wanted to learn to sew sat around the quilt.
As a nurse, I did assessments with my stethoscope on the children’s lungs. I had a chart to check eyesight. Evaluations were given to the people in charge of the school for follow-up. Brazil did not have healthcare as we know it in Canada, so I had to have faith that the children with eyesight impairment would sit at the front of the class.
When the time was coming for our team to leave, I said to John, “We should give our helpers a gift for their work.” There was a box filled with jeans with many holes. Salvaging what was good, I was able to make enough gift bags out of pieces cut from the legs of the jeans. I found good quality string for the ties on the tops. We had hygiene products in the health room, so John and I bought products from the mission for men and women and filled the bags.
On the last evening before we left, we held an appreciation program. John gave out the bags. It was wonderful to see the faces of those opening their bags. When all the bags had been opened, one young woman stood up and said, “I did not have any more paper left, and I asked Jesus this morning if He would please give me more.” We had put a little pad of paper with a pencil and a pen in the bags, not knowing this woman’s need. What I took for granted was a real need to her.
I have a magnet on the filing cabinet in my office that I look at many times through the year. It says, “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” Only God knows this wise saying’s author, whom I should thank.
Let us not take any of God’s blessings for granted, and let’s do acts of kindness to family, friends, and neighbours.
Prayer: Father in heaven, help us to be aware of kindness that we can show to others. Help us to live Jesus Christ to those with whom we come in contact, being thankful for Calvary and our Saviour. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Ruth Rowe <firstname.lastname@example.org>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission