And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each to her mother’s house. The LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.”
The great American novelist Henry James, in saying good-bye to his nephew Willie, said something the boy never forgot. As they parted, he put his hand on the young man’s shoulders and remarked, “Willie, there are three things that are important in human life. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind.”
Naomi’s daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, apparently had learned that lesson well. As she prepared to part from them, Naomi praised them both for their kindness. They had been kind to her sons, their husbands. And even after they were widowed and no longer had family obligations to their mother-in-law, they continued to show kindness to her.
In the midst of a pagan land that practiced a cruel form of worship-even sacrificing little children-God had so moved on the hearts of these two women that their spirit of kind ness set them apart from their fellow Moabites.
Kindness should be one of the distinguishing marks of a Christian as well. Frederick W.Faber observed, “Kind words are the music of the world. They have a power that seems to be beyond natural causes, as if they were some angel’s song that had lost its way and come to earth.
It seems as if they could almost do what in reality God alone can do-soften the hard and angry hearts of men. No one was ever corrected by a sarcasm-crushed, perhaps, if the sarcasm was clever enough, but drawn nearer to God, never.” we must never forget that more people have been won to Christ through kindness than fiery sermons or learned arguments.
Who needs to feel the warmth of your kindness today? Do you know someone who has a special need that you can meet? Let your life be set apart by your deeds of kindness. Identify a need. Picture a face. And show your kindness to that person today.
KINDNESS IS LOVE IN WORK CLOTHES.