Ask around and you’ll find out that these kind of people are around… People who have a reputation for kindness and generosity. I’ve got a wonderful couple in my circle of relationships in mind right now. If there is a need, they’re always trying to find a way to meet it. If someone is suffering, they’re concerned and trying to do something to help out and alleviate the pain. If someone is forgotten, neglected or lonely, they’re doing everything in their power to let them know they’re important and loved – trying to bring them into their circle of friendship. These kind of people are not usually the “upfront” type or the most visible (there are exceptions, of course). They’re usually not rich, and in most cases don’t think of themselves as the most talented (although many are very gifted). They’re just godly, good, generous, gracious and great-hearted human beings! What would the world be without them?
Interestingly, they are human catalysts for kind behavior for the rest of us! They are quiet leaders of the noblest kind in any circle of influence. They make the broader culture as well as the church better! They are whispering voices that beckon us all to worthier conduct.
An individual from my Bible reading this morning brought this to mind… Ruth, a Moabite widow who showed unusual kindness, concern, and care to her widowed and grieving mother-in-law. The story is in your Bible in the book named after her!
What caught my attention today were the words of Boaz, a rich landowner, who had heard of Ruth’s kindness and allowed (even urged) her to “glean” (gather leftover grain) in his fields. This is what the Bible says…
“At this, she [Ruth] bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him [Boaz], ‘Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me – a foreigner?’ Boaz replied, ‘I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband – how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the Lord repay you for what you have done! May you be richly rewarded by the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!’” (Ruth 2.10-12 NIV)
A reputation for kindness gets around! Kindness begets (and catalyzes) kindness!
Today I honor those silent, godly leaders of generosity, care, concern and graciousness among us that make the world a better place to live. I want to be more like them, don’t you!
Oh, you’d like to know who came to mind in my circle of influence who is like this today? Today I’d honor Fred and Brenda Kuntz, leaders of the home group my wife Sharon and I are apart of at Trinity Church. I’d also like to honor my mother-in-law, Linda Barnett, who is now with Jesus, who perfectly fit this profile as well… miss you Mom! And there are many more I could name! I salute the ones in my life… Don’t you?