The Messenger Zine - KINDNESS | Issue 19
“Kindness | xrēstótēs:
Meeting real needs, in God’s way, in His timing”
When I was five, I had knee surgery. The doctor and nurses treated me with much kindness and my dad stayed with me in the hospital room. But no one could protect me from the pain and I developed a phobia of injections. After surgery I spent a month in a cast and when it came off, there were 2 long scars. The appearance of the scars didn’t affect me in the way my parents worried about back then. Instead, they were a daily reminder of God’s exceedingly abundant loving-kindness to me. Instead of being crippled, with one leg growing increasingly longer than the other, I was able to walk and run normally and excel in sports.
Yet even greater, this constant visible reminder helped develop in me a heart and character of gratitude. How I love to praise Him.
God didn’t just meet my immediate need to walk normally, but something deeper. He met my real need to be reminded of His love and presence always with me. I’m so thankful because growing up wasn’t easy.
“That is the redeeming power of Jesus
Oh, He rewrites Your story
You’re no longer the same
He’s in every piece of the story
“Come Through” Lyrics by Kim Walker-Smith
In Mark 8:22-26, the people of Bethsaida brought a blind man to Jesus and begged Him to touch and heal him. Jesus could have just said the word and this man would have been healed. Yet He put his saliva on the man’s eyes and covered it. Then He did it once more and the man’s sight was totally restored. When a person is blind, his other senses adapt to become far more sensitive. Jesus’ touch would have meant so much to him and served as a daily reminder of Jesus’ kindness. He too, became marked by Jesus’ lovingkindness every day of his life.
Will you dare to expect and wait for God’s lovingkindness to meet and mark you?
I met a young man once who at a tender age of 16 was incarcerated. Strangers had provoked him on the street and unfortunately made a comment about his father, who had just passed on. That really triggered him. He served his time and when he got out, was selling toys along the street. I stopped to listen to this eloquent young man from an affluent family. He no longer lived with them or wanted his inheritance. Yet he was determined to put himself through university.
He taught me that the simplest act of kindness is to make eye contact and acknowledge someone. We talked for several minutes as he walked me to the bus-stop. I felt the strong love of our Heavenly Father for him and shared Jeremiah 29:11 with him. I told him that his father would not have wanted him to struggle so hard on his own and encouraged him to reconnect with his family. God saw and met his real needs that day.
Kindness matters. Even when we don’t know what we need, our Heavenly Father knows. Allow Him to minister to you and through you this week.
“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.”
Lamentations 3:1, NLT
Local artisan bakery, Bready Boys, are all about providing a freshly baked loaf for the dining table and breaking bread together. Started amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, founder Ellery shares his story of God’s loving-kindness and providence.
Hello there~ Could you tell us what Bready Boys is all about?
Bready Boys is a delivery-only local bakery that bakes nourishing and no-bullsh*t breads as it used to be, by hand, using quality ingredients and time-worn artisanal methods. With sourdough breads as our main offering, we retail other staples such as bread spreads too.
What is the ethos behind Bready Boys? Could you share more about it?
Bready Boys is all about providing a freshly baked loaf each day, for the centre of the dining table, for fuelling table conversations. The sharing of food has always been part of the human story and with the phrase ‘breaking of bread’ in mind, our beautiful loaves are made to be ripped, dipped, smeared and toasted, together with your family and friends, for a great experience. Through a good loaf and a great time, we hope that our breads will capture the power of a hearty meal to forge friendships, evoke laughter and more!
It is World Kindness day on November 13. On this issue’s theme of kindness, what does kindness mean to the Bready Boys team?
Kindness means helping someone in need without any expectation of a reward, even when it inconveniences and doesn’t benefit you.
Please tell us more about what a kind society would look like to you! How can we help build this kind society?
To our team, a kind society would be one without a ‘complain and blame’ self-centred culture, where everyone does the right thing even without anyone watching. For a start, perhaps we could open our eyes and hearts more to the day-to-day things of life and start demonstrating more social consideration. For instance, saying thank you to the cleaner who wiped the table at the foodcourt, releasing your table as soon as possible if there’s someone waiting for a seat, having more patience for the courier who’s struggling to deliver your parcel on time and other small acts of kindness.
Can you share a personal story of the kindness of God or others that you have experienced or shown in the course of starting Bready Boys?
Bready Boys began in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic and we give thanks for the brand that has helped support our entire collective thus far. Without Bready Boys, we would not have been able to operate any of our brands during the recent circuit breaker as the government’s directive was to close all non-essential shops which sold prepackaged snacks. And our other concept, Spatula & Whisk, fell right under that category. At that moment in time, Bready Boys was barely two weeks old when we were struck with that piece of bad news. But little did we know that our new (then) brand was launched at an extremely timely period.
By God’s grace and loving kindness, we were allowed to continue operating both brands as bread was considered an essential item and Bready Boys was all about bread. Starting a new brand is tough and owning a business needs a ton of resilience because one needs to be able to bounce back from just about anything imaginable. But this whole episode allowed us to remember that we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.
The brand story of The Commandment Co is to ‘Send A Message. Inspire Someone.’ What is one message you would like to leave our readers with, on the topic of kindness?
Every kind act creates a ripple that knows no end and blesses the one who receives as well as you, because kindness is never wasted.
A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a convention in Chicago. They had assured their families that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night’s dinner.
In their rush, with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of baskets of apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding. All but one. He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings, and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned.
He told his buddies to go on without him, waved goodbye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the terminal floor. He was glad he did.
The 16-year-old girl was totally blind. She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her, no one stopping, and no one to care for her plight. The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them into the baskets, and helped set the display up once more. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket. When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, “Here, please take this $20 for the damage we did. Are you okay?”
She nodded through her tears. He continued on with, “I hope we didn’t spoil your day too badly.”
As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered girl called out to him, “Mister…” He paused and turned to look back. She continued, “Are you Jesus?”
He stopped in mid-stride, and he wondered. Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul: “Are you Jesus?”
Do people mistake you for Jesus?
That’s our destiny, is it not? To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life and grace.
If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to church. It is actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day. You are the apple of His eye even though we, too, have been bruised by a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked you and me up on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.
Let us live like we are worth the price He paid.
(Adapted from https://inspire21.com/spilledapples/)