1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love is patient and KIND”
Hagar was crouching behind a rock in the desert. Abused, mistreated, and alone she ran away and found herself in the desert. It was there she knew she and her son would die in the dry barren wilderness of the desert. She was alone, full of terror, shame, and confusion. In desperation, she cried out to the Lord….and in the place where she felt no one saw; God SAW her. It was there that she gave God the name El Roi; which in Hebrew means, “the God who sees me”.Kindness is a lost art in our culture. We are in a hurry. We have places to go to. We have “important” things to do and “important” people to see. We are distracted. We focus a lot on the TASKS at hand, and not the “PEOPLE” at hand!
In studying what Webster’s dictionary has to say about the word “kind”, I discovered the antonym or opposite of kind is the word “CRUEL”…Yikes!! So, when I’m acting in a way that does not demonstrate kindness, I am acting in a way that demonstrates cruelty???!!! Am I really being cruel by NOT being kind?
I once had a conversation with a college student who was not great about calling home. It wasn’t that he was intentional about NOT communicating. The problem was that he was not INTENTIONAL in communicating. When I fail to see the WHO God has put in front of me, I’m not intentionally being cruel, I’m just not intentional in being kind. When we are intentional about staying connected in reading God’s word, meditating on his precepts, and savoring fellowship with Him, He give US the ability to SEE. Kindness SEES. And when we really SEE, He pours out compassion and kindness through us. In kindness, God has extended to you MERCY (the wonderful gift of NOT giving to you what you DESERVE in your sin).
In kindness, God has extended to you Grace (the wonderful gift of GIVING you what you DON’T deserve in forgiving you of that sin and reconciling you back to himself). When you SEE through the lens of the mercy and grace He has bestowed to you, you begin to truly SEE. You see the WHO God has placed right in front of you In need of the same grace and mercy.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” Colossians 3:12
When you “put on” your clothes for the day…don’t forget that He has placed on your holiness and love. And when you put on your shoes, try putting on kindness as well!
God, I praise you that I know today that you are EL Roi in my life…the God who sees me. Thank you for never failing to demonstrate kindness towards me….for never being too busy….or distracted. I will give you praise throughout my day for the many ways I see your kindness demonstrated to me. Help me to make choices today to SEE. Help me not be so busy today that I fail to see the person who might be of greater value than my busy itinerary. Help me see the opportunities you place before me today to be an agent of kindness.