From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
Be kind to someone today. One of the most powerful of the many wonderful attributes of Jesus is that He was kind to people. Those who are led by the Holy Spirt will be kind to others (Gal. 5:22). The power of kindness is displayed in the following story.
Her name was Mrs. Wright. As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told them an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. But that was not true, because there, in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Jeff Askew. Mrs. Wright had watched Jeff the year before and noticed that he didn’t play well with other children, and his clothes were messy. And Jeff could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Wright would actually find delight in marking his papers with a red pen and then putting a big “F” at the top of his papers. At the school where Mrs. Wright taught, she was required to review each child’s past records and she put Jeff’s off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise. Jeff’s first grade teacher wrote, “Jeff is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners…he is a joy to be around.” His second grade teacher wrote, “Jeff is an excellent student; he is well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.”
The third grade teacher wrote, “His mother’s death has been hard on Jeff. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn’t seem to show much interest.” Finally, his fourth grade teacher wrote, “Jeff is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class.” By now, Mrs. Wright realized the problem and she was so ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Jeff’s. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Wright took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children’s laughter when she exclaimed how petty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Jeff stayed after school that day just long enough to say, “Mrs. Wright, today you smelled just like my mom used to.” After the children left she cried for at least an hour. On that very day she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children.
Many years passed and she received a letter from Jeff. Jeff said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained his father had died and he was wondering if she might agree to sit in the place at the wedding that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. The letter was signed, “Jeff Askew, M.D.” Let’s take advantage of opportunities to be kind to someone (Eph. 4:32). The Bible readings for today are I Kings 9 and 2 Chronicles.