Hidden Acts of Kindness

How sensitive are we to the needs of others? A number of years ago I had a friend, Sally, who appeared very kind and helpful. As I got to know her better I discovered that her kind acts were to impress others. She was always sharing about the good things she had done No helping acts would ever go unnoticed and explained to anyone who would listen. These things would put her in a good light, not necessarily help the person involved.

At the same time I had a friend, Debra, who was quiet and retiring. I knew of the kind things she had done for me but it wasn’t until her funeral that other people shared what she had done for them. So many people had been helped by her in so many ways.

Reflecting about Sally and Debra made me think, do I help on the hospital chaplaincy team because I enjoy it or do I care about the visitors and patients? Is the time spent with the young people at church because I love them and their souls or is it because it is a pleasant way of spending Sunday mornings.? Furthermore, do I let people know what i do and seek recognition? Jesus gave us a cautionary reminder ‘they already have their reward.’ I would rather have crowns to cast at the feet of Jesus.


So often we remember and comment on the times that people have been inconsiderate or unkind to us. We seem to be good at holding grudges. But in actual fact we receive more kindness than we ever care to remember. If we stop to recall the acts of consideration shown towards us, they are probably more than we can count.

Think of the door that was held open for us even when we were slow; or the driver who didn’t cut us up at a roundabout or one who didn’t beat us into a parking space which they might have claimed for their own. Consider the person who sends us an encouraging letter or thanks us in a text.

As a Christian we have a chance to pass these kindnesses on in the name of Christ. It’s just a matter of thinking of others first and not ourselves. I’m sure it wasn’t always easy for Mary and Martha to welcome Jesus, especially if all His friends came along as well. They showed kindness out of love.

Living near the Border

It is only during these last few months that I’ve given any thought to the fact that I live near a border. I’m nine miles from the English/Scottish border and for four months we have not been able to cross that border. It is surprising how often I’ve wanted to do business or visit friends on the other side of the divide.

My concerns are fairly small but what would it be like to have a border where you would be shot if you crossed it. Suppose your family couldn’t be reached just because they lived the other side of this barrier.

For thousands and thousands this is the life they lead. War rages in so many places, lives are being lost or ruined every day. Oh, how we and they pray for peace. We do thank God for the many acts of kindness there are within these areas. The press will only report atrocities, but that is only half the story. If everyone prayed ‘Peace in our time,’ then there would be peace for ever, because it is always ‘our time.’