Simple Acts of Kindness
“Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.”1
While walking home from school, Mark noticed the boy ahead of him had stumbled to the ground and dropped everything he was carrying. Mark hurried to the boy’s side and helped him collect his belongings. Surprisingly, the boy was carrying an especially hefty load. There was a baseball glove and bat, a couple of sweaters, a small tape recorder, and an armful of books. Mark helped him carry the things home and his new friend, Bill, was most appreciative of his compassion. During the walk home, Mark discovered Bill was struggling in school and had just broken up with his girlfriend. When they arrived at Bill’s house, he invited Mark in for a Coke and they spent the rest of the afternoon talking, laughing, and watching TV. Although the two boys never became real close friends, they kept up with each other throughout the rest of junior high and high school. Several weeks before graduation, Bill approached Mark and asked him if he remembered that day they met when Mark helped him with all of his stuff. Mark nodded as he remembered. Bill then asked, “Did you ever wonder why I was carrying so many things that day?” Without pausing for an answer, Bill explained he had cleaned out his locker and was going home to take his life. He had been storing away sleeping pills and was headed home to end it all when Mark happened along to help him out. Bill told Mark how that simple act of compassion inspired him to go on living. He said, “Mark, when you picked up my books that day, you saved my life!”
Imagine how many times our small, seemingly insignificant acts of kindness or concern for others may be just the thing that person needs to continue on. The burdens of life can sometimes be too much to carry alone, but with the love and kindness of one friend, it can make that load so much lighter. Be alert to those around you and ask God to help you be as Jesus to them.
Suggested prayer: Dear God, each day I see dozens of people and have no way of knowing the struggles they may be carrying. I ask that you fill me with compassion and that the simplest acts of kindness would be used by you to give someone hope. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Job 6:14 (NIV).
Chicken Soup for the Soul, Jack Canfield and Mark Hansen, 1993, p. 35
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.