THE MILK OF HUMAN KINDNESS
Walking across the parking lot toward the restaurant, I faced a fearful obstacle. With my cane and iffy balance, stepping up onto the sidewalk can be difficult and even dangerous. Fortunately, as I neared the step up, a gentleman approached.
“Sir,” I asked, “Do you mind helping me up?”
“Gladly,” he replied, as he smiled and proffered his hand.
Gratefully I thanked him. Then he went his way.
As I opened the restaurant door, I met two women coming out—one with a cane.
“Wasn’t it nice of that gentleman to help you the way he did, she asked?
“O, I asked him to help me,” I told her. “I gave up my pride a long time ago.”
Sitting with friends at lunch, I thought of the small, but numerous ways people have shown me kindness. Giving a hand, opening doors, picking up a dropped item, retrieving an object on an unreachable shelf—On Sunday morning, a lady at my church, takes my handbag and places it on my seat in the sanctuary, so that I can go to the coffee shop, saving me difficult steps—all small things, but oh, so appreciated.
I love the “Dignity Health” commercials “Hello Human Kindness.”
I’m sure you have seen two-year-old Marty Williams trying time after time to blow out the candle on his birthday cupcake. When he is finally successful with the straw his kind father produces, you can see the satisfaction and look of triumph on Marty’s sweet baby face.
My heart is touched when I see the truck driver, who stops to rescue a baby horse and put him back over the fence to join his anxious mama, and I smile as I see the reunited pair trot away.
Where does this kindness come from?
William Shakespeare is credited with coining the phrase, “The milk of human kindness.” To Lady Macbeth, “milk of human kindness” is distasteful stuff. Being ambitious, she fears that her “too kind” husband lacks the courage to murder King Duncan and snatch the Scottish Crown. As fluids go, Lady Macbeth is more inclined to murderous blood than nurturing milk.
As we listen to the news and observe things taking place around us, we can’t help but believe our nation has listed in that direction. We are so bombarded on every side by negativity, disease, and toxicity that, at times, it is almost impossible to see the good.
Yet, there are still good people in this world doing good things, and yes, there are people who give no credence to God—even evil people, who sometimes do good deeds. Even mean people love their dogs. This beggars the question: “What is the source of this goodness?
Goodness comes from the heart of God and no other place. When man was created, God invested him with a soul that tended toward human kindness. Sin and disobedience have all but obliterated that tender part of the soul in many people leaving them hardened to the needs of others.
I think of the story of the “Good Samaritan” found in Luke 10:25-37. Samaritans were hated by the Jews, but when thieves beat and wounded a Jew, in route to Jericho, leaving him half dead, it was a Samaritan who showed him compassion not a Jewish Levite or Priest.
In Luke 10:27, the Jewish law says, “You shall love…your neighbor as yourself.” In this case it was the hated Samaritan who proved to be a good neighbor and not the Jewish brothers.
We all have the power to heal—the true power of human kindness prompted by the love of God in us. The effect we can have on one another when we reach out and help ease each other’s pain is immeasurable.
Sighing and complaining and shaking our head do nothing to diminish the power of evil in this world. However, we do have a very real and powerful tool against it. The love of God exhibited in human kindness has the power to change this world individual by individual, as we reach out.
Galatians 5:22 tells us, “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, KINDNESS…”
Kindness toward others will be the fruit of the abiding presence of the Spirit of God in your life.
In the story of the “Good Samaritan,” when asked, “Who was the neighbor to him who fell among thieves?” Jesus answered, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then he said, “Go and do likewise.”
YOU, GO AND DO LIKEWISE! Find someone who needs you—not necessarily someone who deserves your attention, but someone to whom you can be a true neighbor. Let the love of God flow as you minister to him. You can be an instrument of change in his life and in this world.
Remember, the sun will come out tomorrow!