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Meditations by John Dean

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Kindness and Truth

(Proverbs 3:3 ASV)  Let not kindness and truth forsake thee: Bind them about thy neck; Write them upon the tablet of thy heart.

Kindness is one of those things that is wonderful to experience, but hard to explain. The reason it is so hard to explain is because it seems to be contrary to human nature. Human nature is usually more interested in pleasing one’s self than in showing kindness to others.

Because of such selfishness, people find it easy to divide over many issues. However, when it comes to acts of kindness those same unpredictable people seem to change…at least for the moment. Is it possible that there is something inherently good in man in spite of the fact that he is lost and needs a redeemer? Apparently so, because our text says, “Let not kindness and truth forsake thee… Write them upon the tablet of thy heart .”

I do not think the Lord would have told us this if the potential for kindness was not there in the first place. This is significant because even though man needs a redeemer (Jesus), nothing is implied that there is not a measure of kindness and even decency in the lost.

Perhaps this is another one of those mysteries that only God knows the answer. The fact is, just because one is born again does not necessarily mean that they are always kind. But on the other hand neither does it mean that just because a person is not born again that they are always unkind.

The purpose of my writing about kindness was provoked by an experience I was a part of the other day.

My niece is an adaptive P.E. teacher and one of her jobs is working with severely handicapped children. She has assistants working with her in teaching and caring for these children.

Last week my niece was talking to one of her assistants and she asked him about his family and where he lived. During their conversation she found out that he was a homeless Vet living in a shelter with his daughter. This man had a college education but wanted to become a school teacher and therefore had to take more college courses in order to qualify for his teaching certification.

As my niece and this man talked, he was so excited to inform her that he had been on a waiting list with the VA to get his own apartment and had just been approved.  He would be moving into his new apartment in a couple of days.

My niece was so moved with compassion that she asked him if he minded if she helped him furnish the new apartment for he and his daughter. He excitedly said yes…because they had absolutely nothing.

We have a trading website in our area, so my niece immediately posted his story and his need. Within two hours his entire apartment was furnished beautifully, including pictures. The pantry was full of food, the linen closet was filled with new sheets and towels and loads of toiletries. Several women bought all the personal items that this man’s daughter would need. Not only that, but my wife and I drove around picking up gift cards for anything else they might need.

The life of this man and his daughter changed completely overnight from living in a shelter with nothing, to having this new beautiful apartment filled with items of love from our community.

I have never seen so many acts of kindness at one time in my life from so many people.

No one focused on the things that would usually separate us, but on the greater need instead. I wonder if that is the part of mankind that I questioned as being inherently good? Is this what our text was talking about when it said, “Let not kindness and truth forsake thee”…I just wonder…I just wonder? Otherwise, why would so many people rally around a stranger they have never met and will probably never meet?

Father,
I think I have discovered that I know less about mankind that I first thought. I think I am beginning to understand when You told us “Do not judge lest you be judged”…it was because You and You alone know the heart of man. Since You created man perhaps it was even You that caused this wonderful act of kindness in all of the people toward this homeless Vet. Help me to understand more.

Amen

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