Love is patient and kind; … (1 Corinthians 13:4)
The tragic death of TV presenter Caroline Flack on 15th of Feb at age 40 is beyond sad. Caroline Flack was an unpretentious, justly popular woman and all the tributes to her mention her kindness.
There is something particular about the virtue of kindness that captivates and endears people like Caroline to society. Perhaps, at the centre of all our lives is the quest to love and be loved. Kindness is love in action. Kindness is mentioned frequently in the Bible and is one of the nine attributes of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). In December 2019, Caroline wrote in an Instagram post:
“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.“
That radically simple but touching message was printed on t-shirts and sold for charity. Sales raised over £300,000 for the Samaritans. Tragedy raised its hollow voice, but kindness steps in and has the last word.
As Christian singles, we know too well the power of loneliness and feelings of isolation that can creep on us, and what a difference simple words and acts of kindness can make. The Bible says, ’Do to others as you would have them do for you’ (Luke 6:31) and the powerful corollary to this is that God will do for you as you have done to others. There is a beautiful and oft repeated story that illustrates this principle.
Dr Howard Kelly (1858-1943) was a devout Christian doctor and one of the four founding doctors of Johns Hopkins, the first medical research university in the U.S. and arguably one of the finest hospitals in the world. Although this story has appeared in many books and media, and embellished for dramatic effect, the true gist is this: Dr Kelly had an interest in nature and enjoyed walking trips. On a walking trip up through Northern Pennsylvania one spring, Dr Kelly stopped by a small farm house for a drink of water. A little girl answered his knock and instead of water brought him a glass of fresh milk. After a short friendly visit, he went on his way. Some years later, that same little girl came to him for an operation. Dr Kelly recognised the girl at once. At the end of successful treatment, Dr Kelly requested that the sizeable medical bill be passed to him. Just before she left for home, her bill was sent to her room. Instead of an expected large medical bill which would have taken a life time to pay, written across the bill in bold hand was, “Paid in full with one glass of milk.” Signed: Dr Howard Kelly.1
‘Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.’ANNE HERBERT
Life can be perversely difficult, filled with unforeseen circumstances, accidents, shadows, storms, disasters and delays. Make a heartfelt commitment to carry out one deliberate act of kindness today. Start small. Start where you are.
You might be surprised at how little kindness costs. Sometimes just a glass of milk!
You might be surprised at how much kindness pays:
A man who is kind benefits himself,.. (Proverbs 11:17)
1 https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/the-milk-of-human-kindness/ Last accessed 09/03/2020.