Years ago a columnist from the Buffalo News wrote a farewell eulogy on behalf of all those who drove the Niagara portion of the I-190. In those dark days before the re-awakening of our city, the Breckenridge toll barriers halted every driver. Before "Easy Pass" drivers angrily looked for loose change and often took their frustrations out on toll booth operators. It is not an easy job to take money from depressed drivers on a dark, cold morning. But one toll booth operator made it fun. He greeted drivers with a smile. He offered a greeting and wished a good day on everyone. This was a daily habit for his career. The columnist from the News wrote that he often switched lanes at the last minute to get in line for the optimist. When the man passed away it seemed he took the sunshine with him.
Kindness is a gem. It springs from a heart after God's own heart. It requires a selflessness....a humility.....a compassion for others.
After everything finally settled in King David's administration he ask one of the best questions ever.
Is there anyone still left in the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness?
It is like President Obama asking if the daughters of George W. Bush need assistance. It is like the New England Patriots asking if the Bills could use some of their draft picks. It is like Bill Gates asking if Apple needs any tech help from Micro Soft.
Who does that?
There was a forgotten, disabled son of son of David's old friend Jonathan. He was still living, most likely in disgrace. In those days a new king quickly eliminated competitors for the throne. Old enemies were killed.....old grudges were settled. Mephibosheth had to be shaking in his sandals when he was brought before the king.
He couldn't believe his ears! David said, "I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore all your land and you will always eat at my table."
Talk about making someone's day! MephiBOsheth won the lottery! He went from the soup line to the banquet table. David's kindness gives a clear picture of a story Jesus told about offering a great banquet to the most unlikely guests. (That would be people like you and me.) It is the story of grace. The unworthy and forgotten are welcomed in.
Kindness demonstrates a heart like God's. The toll booth collector had a heart like that.
Kindness doesn't wait to be invited in, rather it takes initiative. Go ahead, I dare you to ask yourself David's question: Is there anyone to whom I can show kindness?
There's an elderly person who could use a visit. There's a neighbor you've been meaning to check on. There's a single mom that could use a gift card. There's server that could use a big tip. There's co-worker that could use a plate of cookies. There's a public official that has never received a thank you note. There's tool booth operator that never hears "Good Job." There's a disabled person that could use a simple touch and conversation. There's a struggling acquaintance who would be stunned by an anonymous gift of $100.
You have the ability to make someone's day. David did it for Bo. You can too.
It takes a heart like God's.
Praying you'll find a forgotten one to whom you can show kindness today.