Monday, October 10, 2011
Every act of kindness, however small, reminds others that we are all part of God's family. An African-American preacher told this story from the pulpit one Sunday when I was in attendance at his church in Kansas City. Seems that there was a hospital on a hill in a big city in a bad part of town. The part of town where stores had bars on the windows. At the bottom of the hill, below the hospital there was a shoe store. Now, there is no place where there is little patience and lots of tension than a crowded, understaffed shoe store. This particular store was air-conditioned in a time when that was rare, so the shoe shop was a popular place. One very crowded, noisy day, a ragged little boy with bare feet shyly snuck in the door to get some relief from the heat. The owner of the shoe store saw him and yelled at him to get out before he threw him out. There was a nurse there that day, getting a new pair of nursing shoes as she worked at the hospital up the hill. She grabbed that little ragged boy and pulled him to her. She could see that his feet had probably never even known shoes. She marched the boy up to the store manager and told him in no uncertain terms that he was to put new shoes on this little boy and socks as well. She told him to put them on her bill, and as she was late for her shift and couldn't stay to see that it was done, warned the store manager that her business and that of the rest of the nurses at the hospital depended on him taking care of that boy. The manager, a little cowed, agreed. The nurse left and began the long walk up the hill to the hospital. She was still walking up the hill when she heard the unmistakeable sound of new shoes slapping on the pavement behind her. Pretty soon, she felt a small hand tugging at her uniform. She looked down into the smiling eyes of the little boy wearing his new shoes and socks and heard him ask her, "Lady, are you God?" She laughed and said, "No, I'm just one of His many children." The little boy got even more excited. He said, "I knew it, I knew it! I knew you had to be some kind of kin!" She held his little hand as they walked the rest of the way up the hill. What she did that day wasn't much, but she demonstrated the wonder of God's love and changed the little boy's life long after the shoes would be worn out and discarded. You, too, have the power to demonstrate that you are part of God's kin by every act of kindness you show to others. They won't always thank you as the little boy did, but God will know and others will see. God bless you for loving others and showing that you do on a daily basis.