Kindness matters

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It almost seems a lost art.

Or something which is only brought out for special occasions.

Yet kindness is God’s idea, not man’s.

“For the mountains shall depart,
And the hills be removed,
But My kindness shall not depart from you,
Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed, ”
Says the LORD, who has mercy on you.
Isaiah 54:10 NKJ

It is listed as a fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22.

Yet, it seems to be difficult to display.

A few weeks ago I was shopping with all the kids. Just as I turned the cart down an isle I heard a very strange sound.

It was the sound of items hitting the floor.

Many items.

I let go of the cart, walked back a few steps to see our son stretched across a shelf in the vain, but desperate hope of holding many little plastic bottles upright.

My reaction was far from kind.

I was in a hurry.

I instantly assumed he’d been messing with them and had knocked the first row over.

“What are you doing?!”

“Mommy, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to! I just bumped it and they fell!”

I realized he was truly upset, and was trying to fix his error.

I changed my tone of voice, and determined to respond with gentleness and understanding.

“Okay buddy, don’t worry. I’ll help you put them all back.”

He was trying not to cry and bravely bent over to pick up a plastic tube.

I  grabbed the nearest one, set it on the shelf.

I let go and began to pickup another when I saw what must have occurred moments before.

The plastic tube wasn’t weighted correctly and instantly tipped backward into the others behind it.

Before I could think about how to react, it was like watching dominoes.

All the way to the back of the shelf they fell, then that line tipped the one next to it. Within a few seconds,  the entire contents of the shelf were spilling to the floor.

The first store employee to respond was a friend of our oldest.

He looked surprised, told us not to worry, then rushed to get something to begin the clean up.

The manager came next and had a similar reaction to my mess as I had to our son’s.

“Please Mame, don’t touch anything else. Just leave it alone.”

I’m certain he wasn’t trying to be unkind.

He simply was trying to stop the chaos.

The real kindness came at the check out.

As we stood unloading our cart I continued to reassure our son he wasn’t in trouble and the store wasn’t asking us to leave.

“Will they let us shop here again?”

“I’m certain they will. ”

The checker inquired as to the circumstance.

Upon my retelling she (understandably) laughed.

It was too much for our son.
He burst into tears.

She immediately stopped, walked around the counter, and threw her arms around him.

She apologized for laughing and reassured him he wasn’t in trouble or at fault.

Her kindness mattered.

I wish I had responded like that in the first place.

So, in the future, and I mean each day,
I’m asking the Lord to help me be kind.

To teach me true brotherly love so I’m able to respond instead of react.

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