Kind To The Bone

March 30, 2017
by Martin Wiles

Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. (NLT)

Six hundred miles was a long way to move a middle-school student.

The year was 1970, and I was ten years old. Dad, a freshly ordained Southern Methodist minister, decided that he'd move our family from Orangeburg, South Carolina, USA, to Jackson, Tennessee. I suppose that the move itself wouldn't have been so bad had it not taken me so far away from the grandparents who had spoiled me. They lived in Orangeburg, and my other grandparents lived thirty minutes from there.

Fortunately, my grandparents in Orangeburg made the situation easier. I was invited to spend every summer with them. Better yet, my grandfather drove an ice cream delivery truck and cleared it with his boss so that I could work with him. What better job could a pre-teen have? I ate all the free ice cream that I wanted, rambled around in the refrigerated part to retrieve ice cream for customers, received free lunches, and was paid $20 each week.

For three summers — the entire time my dad pastored in Jackson — I left for Orangeburg as soon as school was out. In two of those years, my grandmother boarded a Trailways bus and came for me. In the last summer, my parents allowed me to hop a Delta Airlines plane and make the trip myself. I suppose that they thought a 12-year-old was mature enough to handle the flight alone.

In the midst of all the selfish advantages that I received from working with my grandfather, I couldn't help but notice his kindness. Store owners who were rude to him were greeted with kindness: never a harsh word, never an angry look, never a "You can find somebody else to deliver your ice cream."

Then there were the kids who couldn't afford to buy ice cream but who mauled his truck at some of the mom-and-pop stores. "Hey mister, you got any free ice cream?" they'd ask. Most of the time he did: a broken carton or one that was smashed during the loading process, pieces a store owner wouldn't pay for, and pieces my granddaddy wouldn't stock because it would make the company look bad. Those little eyes bulged with anticipation as he opened one freezer door after another until he found some freebies. My granddaddy lived out what Paul instructed believers to have: kindness.

Whether it's returned or not, let us just show kindness.

Prayer: Father, as You are kind to us, so motivate us to show kindness to others. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

Send your feedback to the author

Forward This Devotional to your friends without subscribing them.

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Awesome story! Blessings.


    I loved your devotional. Live, Love; awesome!


    What an inspirational story! Thank you.
    Blessings.


    Amen Martin what a wonderful legacy your grandparents left you.
    Blessings.


    I think you learned a lot from your grandfather – all of your meditations reflect that same kindness. Thank you.


    Wonderful words to live by. May God grant us all a little kindness to be passed along to each other without any expectation in return.


    Dear Martin I found your memoirs to be entertaining, heartwarming, enlightening and inspirational. I’m saving this devotional. Thank you.


    What delightful memories, but even more, what a great role model your grandfather was for you. What a blessing! Thanks for sharing this devotional. Blessings.


    Martin,
    Great sharing, especially for when it gets 100 degrees here in California!
    (CA)


    Hi Martin,
    What a lovely, personal reflection. Thanks for sharing a little piece of your history and the Pauline words on kindness.


    Martin, what a wonderful role model you had as a child. Even a little kindness can go a long way.
    Thank you kindly.
    Blessings.


    Couldn’t agree more. Over all the world some simple kindness is needed. I remember my granddaughter when she was just able to talk telling everyone “sharing is good”. It became a saying in our whole family.
    God Bless.


    Dear Martin,
    Thanks for the thought for today.
    Kindness is a great gift that comes not only as a gift from God but also from a large heart that can hold it and not make it brittle.
    Blessings.


    A beautiful devotional, Martin Wiles.
    Can we call kindness an essence of grace?
    Keep writing.


    Thank you, Martin, for sharing your beautiful childhood memories, and I thank God for your grandparent’s role in your life, specifically your grandfather in this case. His example of kindness is what our world needs more of, especially in these times. It sounds like you are living as God has intended, being kind to others and sharing that wonderful story. Paul’s writings are among my favourites, and I’m grateful that you took time to send his message out again on wings of love and caring.
    Blessings to you and yours, as you continue to share God’s amazing Word.
    (ON Canada)


    Dear Martin,
    Thanks for this wonderful, inspirational meditation. Not only is it solidly supportive of lessons from scripture, but it points us to what is really important and effective as we try to share the gospel by trying to live by the gospel. People notice what we do and are more influenced by that than any lectures or fancy words. Thank you for reminding us that kindness is the way to each person’s heart. We may be tempted to be self-righteous when we live by the ethics of the gospel, but Jesus taught us that love and kindness are more important than petty attention to our concept of “good living.”
    I enjoy reading the many stories in the gospels of how Jesus was criticized by the religious officials for not following petty, man-made rules, but he answered them by teaching the importance of kindnesss and love.
    As a result of your meditation, I plan to do more reading in the gospels and explore further what Jesus taught about kindness.
    Thanks for this start,
    (Sask)

Previous Post
«
Next Post
»

Switch to our mobile site