Our long and lively discussions have put a lot of things into perspective for me.
As I tried to sum up the gist of it I thought back over the week … and another visit stood out. On Tuesday we met up with a colleague and her husband. We, in this case, being my husband, myself, our daughter, our daughter-in-law and 14 children!
A warm welcome – perhaps the first from OMF colleagues since our return – and hugs, much earnest conversation, laughter, tears… The kindness of God.
I’ve thought a lot about this in recent months.
We are charged, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience and to bear with each other, forgiving as the Lord forgave us. And over this compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience we are to put on love, which binds them all together. (Colossians 3:12-14)
I’m not sure how well I’m carrying out this charge.
My husband and I pray every night for God to sweeten our spirits and keep us from picking up offense when offended. But most nights I feel like I still have a long way to go.
There is an awful lot of offense in the world.
Foolishness, bad decisions or just plain disobedience, deceptions – big and little, enslavement to passions and pleasures, malice, envy and hatred … and in the midst of all this offensiveness, the kindness and love of God appears – to save us. (Titus 3:3-6)
Perusing FB (or reading the news!) tells me this is not the way of the world!
And yet it struck me again tonight that kindness is so much more likely to bring about repentance than condemnation. This is Biblically true (see Romans 2:4). Its also true to my experience!
A gentle word, a look of love motivated by a compassionate heart…. this is what brings about real change.