In the reading schedule we are doing at church this year, we read the section today that describes the inhabitants on the island of Malta showing the Apostle Paul and his companions “unusual kindness.” (Acts 28:2). My immediate reaction? I want do that…I want to show people “unusual kindness.” But what does that look like? I tried to remember times that others have showed me such unusual kindness. It didn’t take long to remember…
In 1998, my family attended a church reunion in Wichita Falls. It was one of the rare Sunday’s that I took off from my normal preaching duties at the church I served in Woodward, OK at that time. We were on our way home in our 1992 Chevy Suburban, when that high mileage SUV threw an engine rod. We were in the middle of nowhere. I mean the sticks. The boondocks…There was no cell service on that stretch of rural Oklahoma road. There we were with three little boys. Our youngest was two years old at the time.
A lady happened along fairly soon and offered to take us to her home in Clinton, OK. She could have been ax-murderer for all I knew, but from all appearances she looked and sounded very normal. We went to her home….And we soon discovered that she was caring for her dying mother with the assistance of hospice. I was stunned. This lady’s life was in an uproar. She taking care of her mother right there in her home! And she still chose to stop and help us late on a Sunday afternoon as darkness was about to fall.
I think what she did can be classified as “unusual kindness.” When someone chooses to serve total strangers even when things in their life are far from perfect that automatically qualifies the kindness to be unusual. It’s good to remember events from nearly 17 years ago. I wonder how many other lives that compassionate woman has touched since then. My old Suburban has probably is probably fair game for spare parts in an auto salvage yard somewhere by now. But we have not forgotten here kindness.
When have you experienced “unusual kindness?” How did it shape the way you treat others today?