Read: “Learn to do good; commit yourselves to seeking justice. Make right for the world’s most vulnerable- the oppressed, the orphaned, the widow.” Isaiah 1:17 (VOICE)
“…to live justly and to love kindness and to walk with your True God in all humility?” Micah 6:8 (VOICE)
Reflect: Growing up, our family was on the free lunch program at school. When summer came around, the only way to get breakfast and lunch was to head to the local recreation center where a team of volunteers passed it out. There was a ton of dysfunction and abuse in my home and I can remember many days dreaming that someone would notice and do something. I would arrive at the center each day–some days looking worse than others–and these kind volunteers would serve me the best chocolate milk I had ever tasted. Sometimes I could see them catch a glimpse of my pain. Their eyes would meet mine and there was a silent acknowledgement between us. Their kindness did not deal with the systemic issue that brought me there in the first place, but it did allow me the gift of connection.
I would like to believe that we live in a different world today, but research tells us there is a link between pain and poverty. Even though I was not rescued, the kindness of strangers reminded me I was created to have a different life. That gift of hope stayed with me for many years, as I began to figure out how to not just survive, but to follow a different path for my life. My children know the stories of my childhood, but they haven’t had to repeat my story, because the kindness of volunteers and the love of Jesus helped me to break that cycle.
React: Did you recognize some of the hope spread through kindness this weekend? In what way can you continue to make this serving rhythm part of your everyday life?
Pray: God, thank you for helping us to see people through your eyes. Continue to help us stay awake to pain and meet that pain with love and kindness.