Illustration results for kindess
The famous preacher, Charles Swindoll once said, "Kindness is a language that deaf people can hear and that blind people can see."
For more from Chuck, visit http://www.insight.org
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"ALI KISSED 'EM!"
Former boxing writer Harold Conrad visited a women's prison with heavyweight fighter Muhammad Ali. "All the inmates lined up," wrote Conrad. "They were ooh-ing and aah-ing as he went along. There were some good-looking ones. But he kissed only the ugly ones." After they left the prison, Conrad asked the fighter to explain why he chose to kiss only those women. "Because no one ever kisses 'em," responded the man who called himself The Greatest. "Now they can remember that Ali kissed 'em!"
Every human being needs to be loved. Surely the church should be the one place where love is evidenced by warm affection for one another.
(From a sermon by Freddy Fritz, Final Greetings, 5/25/2012)
FREE TO BE YOUR SLAVE
Elisabeth Elliot wrote a beautiful prayer, in "A Lamp for My Feet":
"Lord, break the chains that hold me to myself; free me to be Your happy slave Ė that is, to be the happy foot washer of anyone today who needs his feet washed, his supper cooked, his faults overlooked, his work commended, his failure forgiven, his grieves consoled or his button sewed on. Let me not imagine that my love for You is very great if I am unwilling to do for a human being something very small."
KINDNESS: THE CLOSING OF A LIFE
Because I drive the night shift, my cab often becomes a moving confessional. Passengers climb in, sit behind me in total anonymity, and tell me about their lives. I encounter people whose lives amaze me, some ennoble me, others make me laugh and sometimes make me weep. However, none touched me more than a woman I picked up late one August night.
Responding to a call from a small brick fourplex in a quiet part of town, I assumed I was being sent to pick up some partiers or someone who had just had a fight with a lover or a worker heading to an early shift at some factory in the industrial part of town.
When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, then drive away.
But I have seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always go to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.
"Just a minute", answered a frail, elderly voice. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her late 80s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie.
The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
"Would you carry my bag to the car?" she asked. I took the bag and then turned to assist her. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.
She kept thanking me for my kindness. "Itís nothing", I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated."
"Oh, youíre such a good boy," she said.
When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?"
"Itís not the shortest way," I quickly answered.
"Oh, I donít mind," she said. "Iím in no hurry. Iím on my way to a hospice."
I looked in the rearview mirror. Her eyes were glistening. "I donít have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I donít have very long."
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. "What route would you like me to take?" I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds.
She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes sheíd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of the sun creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "Iím tired. Letís go now."
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were concerned and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse.
"Nothing," I replied.
"You have to make a living," she answered.
GOD POSITIONING SYSTEM
I was thinking a lot about this idea that Jesus is the way. He doesn't just tell us the way, He shows us. He is kind of like one of those GPS navigation system. GPS stands for the "Global Positioning System" that was originally designed for military use, but now is open to all. There are 24 satellites that circle the earth pinpointing where you are and where you want to go.
I would suggest that we have a better GPS. Ours is the "God Positioning System." Because of Jesus, we know how to live, how to position ourselves in the world. We each have an internal gauge that points to the right thing to do. Jesus has shown us that love, grace, and forgiveness lead us on the way.
Yesterday when I led my Uncle Bruce's memorial I got to speak about him. Many of you know how much I loved him. As we prepared for the service, Aunt Julia, his daughters, Susan, and Ann, and I sat down to talk about Uncle Bruce, we found ourselves talking about how wonderful he was. Julia said, "We're making him sound like a saint!" He was as close to a saint as I'll ever know. He was kind, considerate, funny, encouraging, loving, smart, patient and generous. Well, you see, he was pretty much a saint. He wasn't perfect, but he was pretty close.
His daughter Susan said that he knew how to help people. Susan remembers him explaining, "If you are going to help someone, help them immediately. Do more than they ask. Stay with them until you are sure they need absolutely nothing else."
A perfect example was the way he helped Susan when she was moving from one apartment to another. He got down on the floor with her and scrubbed the old apartment so Susan would get the deposit back.
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CAN'T CALL HIM A LIAR
During quail season in Georgia, an Atlanta journalist met an old farmer hunting with an ancient pointer at his side. Twice the dog ran rheumatically ahead and pointed. Twice his master fired into the open air. When the journalist saw no birds rise, he asked the farmer for an explanation.
"Shucks," grinned the old man, "I knew there weren't no birds in that grass. Spot's nose ain't what it used to be. But him and me have had some wonderful times together. He's still doing the best he can--and it'd be mighty mean of me to call him a liar at this stage of the game!"
(Source: Bits & Pieces, August 20, 1992, pp. 15-16. From a sermon by Donnie Martin, God's Glory Revealed Through Gideon, 5/29/2010)
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THE YEAR OF THE YES
Playwright Maria Hedley had her fill of terrible dates. Most of the dates she went on she thought the guys would be great candidates but they were totally unsatisfying. She got sick of her own taste and decided that fate couldnít mess up her love life anymore than she could, and it might just do a better job. So she decided to take her personal tastes out of the equation and put aside all her preconceptions. Insteadó-as she vowed to her roommate one morningó-for the next year she would date every person who asked her out. In the past, Maria had refused a deli workerís invitation because she assumed he hadnít read enough books. A taxi driverís offer was refused because Maria thought they wouldnít have anything in common, and she said no to short guys though she was short.
All of that changed. It would be the Year of Yes. She ended up dating half of NYC. There was a homeless guy who thought he was Jimi Hendrix, a subway conductor, a mommy-obsessed millionaire, even a woman who asked Maria to have her baby, a 70-year-old salsa dancer, a Colombian Cowboy/Handyman, her high school nemesis, whom sheíd spent seven years rejecting, and a mime. He proposed with hand gestures and body language.
She tells about this in her book The Year of Yes. Maria said she went looking for a new kind of love, and found a new kind of life. She advises making an effort to talk to new people. Their stories can enrich your life.
(From a sermon by Ed Sasnett, The Gift of Singleness, 6/23/2010)
THE KINDNESS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Despite his busy schedule during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln often visited the hospitals to cheer the wounded. On one occasion he saw a young fellow who was near death. "Is there anything I can do for you?" asked the compassionate President. "Please write a letter to my mother," came the reply. Unrecognized by the soldier, the Chief Executive sat down and wrote as the youth told him what to say.
The letter read, "My Dearest Mother, I was badly hurt while doing my duty, and I won't recover. Don't sorrow too much for me. May God bless you and Father. Kiss Mary and John for me." The young man was too weak to go on, so Lincoln signed the letter for him and then added this postscript: "Written for your son by Abraham Lincoln."
Asking to see the note, the soldier was astonished to discover who had shown him such kindness. "Are you really our President?" he asked. "Yes," was the quiet answer. "Now, is there anything else I can do?" The lad feebly replied, "Will you please hold my hand? I think it would help to see me through to the end." The tall, gaunt man granted his request, offering warm words of encouragement until death stole in with the dawn.
-- Source unknown -- (10,000 Sermon Illustrations)
In The Gospel in Hymns, published in 1950, is a story about Philip Brooks, author of ďO Little Town of BethlehemĒ:
One April fools day, Brooks saw a boy on Boylston Street in Boston trying to reach a doorbell. Brooks walked up the steps and said, "Let me help you, my little man!" He pushed the button, and the boy scampered down the steps, yelling, "Now run like crazy!"
LINCOLN WRITES A LETTER
Despite his busy schedule during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln often visited the hospitals to cheer the wounded. On one occasion he saw a young fellow who was near death. "Is there anything I can do for you?" asked the compassionate President.
"Please write a letter to my mother," came the reply.
Unrecognized by the soldier, the Chief Executive sat down and wrote as the youth told him what to say. The letter read, "My Dearest Mother, I was badly hurt while doing my duty, and I won't recover. Don't sorrow too much for me. May God bless you and Father. Kiss Mary and John for me." The young man was too weak to go on, so Lincoln signed the letter for him and then added this postscript: "Written for your son by Abraham Lincoln."
Asking to see the note, the soldier was astonished to discover who had shown him such kindness. "Are you really our President?" he asked.
"Yes," was the quiet answer. "Now, is there anything else I can do?"
The lad feebly replied, "Will you please hold my hand? I think it would help to see me through to the end."
The tall, gaunt man granted his request, offering warm words of encouragement until death stole in with the dawn. (Source Unknown)