‘I’ll help you, Billy’
‘Yes, Rufus! That’s so kind, well done! What a good older brother! High five!’
High praise for a moment of kindness. Probably excessive, but I’m more than happy to applaud and whoop for kindness at any opportunity. As all parents and teachers will know, you’ve got to chase down the positives whenever you can – catch them being good and go big on the brilliance of it all.
And, in our house, kindness is brilliant and beautiful.
While I’m high five-ing my sons for beautiful things (seen amidst other not-so-shiny behaviours), we have been experiencing beautiful kindness. Beauty that has underpinned our whole transitory experience of the last few month, but has been bright and bold and even more evident in the last couple of weeks. Unexpectedly, I had to have surgery on my abdominal muscles and it all happened very quickly, and without much time for the logistical planning that comes with benching a key member of this Carswell team for a few weeks.
But we’ve been overwhelmed by kindness. Beautiful, humbling, servant-hearted kindness. Visible in so many people and places… from the friends who swept the boys up so that Jonathan could be with me at the hospital; to our family who took them for the next couple of days so that I could begin to recover; to the grandparents who dropped diary commitments and travelled hours to do all they could to help. Our church family have been amazing with meals being cooked, flowers being delivered and prayerful encouragement being offered. On top of which, Rufus’ preschool – attached to the church – have bent over backwards to support us in any way possible. People keep on offering, keep on helping, keep on loving us and loving our children.
We’ve been blown away by brilliant, beautiful kindness.
A dictionary definition of kindness comes down to being friendly, generous and considerate. Being a friend who loves others with graciousness. Being one who looks to, and looks after, someone else’s needs. Being kind.
Kindness has been displayed to us in countless ways over recent weeks and months. We’re so thankful, but also love that these displays point us beyond these kind people to our kind Saviour. Jesus, the perfect friend who loves us so much He died for us, who knows our greatest need and dealt with it on the cross, who graciously gives us all things and who cannot be thwarted.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8v31-39)