Thursday, March 30, 2017
Kind To The Bone
Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to each other, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Six hundred miles was a long way to move a middle-school
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
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.
returned or not, let us just show kindness.
Father, as You are kind to us, so motivate us to show kindness to others.
Martin Wiles <email@example.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA
for Today: Happy is the one who walks so close to God that there is no room for the devil to come between them.
for Today: John 12:46 – I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. (NIV)
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