Can You Be Kind To Someone?

February 23, 2018
by Vincent Walter

My grandfather was a doctor in London, England. In 1893, he unexpectedly took ill and died.

He left my grandmother as a young widow, 26 years old, with four children: a boy of six, a girl of four, my father aged two, and a new-born baby girl.

There were no social safety nets for deceased doctors in London in those days. My grandmother was desperately poor — so much so that my father and one of his siblings had to live for a time in an orphanage because my grandmother didn't have enough food to feed four children.

She had been trained as a secretary, but due to the mental distress that she was under, she kept losing positions soon after finding them.

Finally, a friend said that she knew someone who would be kind to her and perhaps even find her a job. She sent my grandmother to see Mrs. Bramwell Booth, the daughter-in-law of the founder of The Salvation Army.

She was kind to my grandmother, led her to a saving knowledge of God expressed through the love of Jesus, and helped her to find useful employment.

I believe that Mrs. Booth was following the command of Jesus: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:40b KJV)

That act of kindness from one lady to a widow has resulted in many of her offspring and their families serving God, and continuing to serve God, in many different parts of the world. Here are their stories:

In 1917, the "girl of four" and her husband were part of the pioneer group that commenced the work of The Salvation Army in China. In 2017, her grandson and his wife returned from missionary service in Africa.

In 1919, Grandma Walter herself went as a missionary to Bombay, India. She died from sunstroke in May, 1925, and is buried in India. In 1959, when my wife and I (with our baby son) were travelling to Madras, India, we stopped in Bombay. When we asked a young Indian Salvation Army officer if he could show us where Mrs. Walter was buried, he said that he didn't know. However, when I said her Indian name — "Salamni" — he immediately took us to her grave. I commented that he was too young to have known her. He replied that his parents thought so highly of her that they had taken him as a young child to her gravesite. Obviously, my grandmother had been kind to people in India just as a lady had been kind to her.

The "baby son" has not only been a lifelong Salvationist but has prospered in business. In 2008, he funded the construction of a chapel at The Salvation Army College for Officer Training in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in honour of his great-grandmother at whose graveside he was the first relative to stand.

So the challenge is, Can you be kind to someone? You never know where it might lead.

Prayer: Dear Father, help us each to follow your command and do our very best, in Your strength, to show love and kindness to others whom we meet. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Vincent Walter <>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    How True!

    Amen to your prayer.

    Very encouraging story, Vincent.

    Wonderful! Thank you for sharing this.

    Thank you so much for sharing these stories.

    Such an inspiring story. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Thank you for a very interesting and meaningful devotional.

    Thank you, Vincent, for sharing this devotional with us. Blessings.

    Love, expressed in kindness and compassion, when shared knows no bounds.

    What an absolutely wonderful testimony and inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful history.

    Thank you for such a heart-warming devotional. I surely needed to hear a positive story. So you too have reached out. Thank you once again.

    What a lovely story! I am thinking “Love is nothing til you give it away”. And the poem “miles of smiles”. Thank you for sharing and encouraging.

    What an amazing story of faith carried through generations.
    You have inspired many people today.
    Thank you.

    Dear Vincent:
    Thank you for your truly inspirational message and testimony. God is amazing and may He continue to bless you.

    Hi Walter
    Thank you for your devotional. It was very interesting and meaningful. It is true, when you show someone kindness you just never know where it will lead. Makes doing life this way exciting!!!
    God bless.

    Dear Vincent,
    Thank you for such a powerful message and it goes along with the message of mercy in Our Daily Bread today. May we all be inspired to be kind and show mercy that has been shown to us by Jesus. May your day be blessed.

    Dear V. Walter,
    A grand family history of persons who receive the kindness of Jesus Christ and passed it on! I pray that that kindness in Jesus’ name will keep on growing and multiplying.
    Keep writing.

    Thank you for your special devotional and testimony concerning love and kindness that makes such a difference in our lives. Your family is such a testimony of the grace of God. This should help many to be blessed in relation to the seeds planted by people involved in the Salvation Army. It reminds me of the mathematical formula that I got in place in relation to Phil. 4 — vs. 6 + 7 adds up to vs. 13, and verse 6 and 13 add up to 19. Verse 13 is only ten words to match your fingers so you can say it on your hands — and the reason that you add the prayer verse to 13 is because Jesus has taught us how to pray and we pray in Christ’s name. And He will supply our needs according to His love. Blessings.

    Wonderful article. Thanks for sharing.

    Hello Vincent.
    Thanks for sharing. Very uplifting message.

    Great story. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks Vincent. What a fine read and so interesting. I am also a believer.
    The Golden Rule does surely make a difference. At dinner I was alone at my table and my interesting friend Esther who is currently very down in the dumps asked me if I would like her to stay and eat dinner with me so I wouldn’t be alone. It was so kind of her. She eats lunch with me every day. What a kind and good person she is.
    Thanks again for your family story. What an interesting background Aren’t you lucky to know so much about it.

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