If you see your brother standing by the road
With a heavy load from the seeds he sowed
If you see your sister falling by the way just stop and say you’re going the wrong way
You’ve got to try a little kindness just show a little kindness
Shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness you’ll overlook the blindness
Of the narrow minded people on the narrow minded streets
Don’t walk around the down and out lend a helping hand instead of doubt
And the kindness that you show every day will help someone along their way
You’ve got to try a little kindness…
You’ve got to try a little kindness…
I don’t know if you grew up around the same time I did, if you did, the chances are 8/10 that you will have heard this song by Genesis before. Can you remember? That big round “record” with a tooth brush like reader on the player 🙂 Those were the days – the disks were disks, nothing compact about them. Right now I can perfectly picture where the records where kept, I remember this season, and I can hear a few other soundtracks – “Baba ore re ma po, baba, melo la o san”, “Odun nlo so pin o, baba rere”, “Won le ma so so ku so, so ko gbo, Let them say :)”, “Who the cap fits, let them wear it”, “… e.t.c. All the collections all the sorts. I’m sure some of you can pick yours out from these, but first let’s get down to the business of today. Try a little kindness.
Since I was born, till date, there have been no occurences of God coming down and interacting with human beings. There have been documented accounts in the Bible, of times in the past that he would speak and the inhabitants of the earth will hear him. It however seems that that phase is the past, God doesn’t show up in the thunder with a loud voice anymore, he’s been there and done that. He however still rules and reigns in the affairs of men, and his representation to us today is very physical and real. Everyday, you and I walk past God, we meet with God, interact with him, and we don’t even know.
How? Let me show you. Everyday, when you and I wake up, we get loads of opportunities to show some kindness, to add value to someone, to alleviate someone’s worries and pains. Some of these people are well known to you, some are not. Some of them however in their hour need are manifestations of God. In order words, it is God that is trying to reach out to you, when he presents to you an opportunity to be kind, and be a blessing.
Read the following
Matthew 25:31-46 (New International Version)
The Sheep and the Goats
31″When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34″Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37″Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40″The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
41″Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44″They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45″He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46″Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
There are number of things that interest me in this story, and I think there is a lot to take to heart, and take into action. Here are a few of those thoughts crystalized.
1. There are two broad categories of human beings when it comes to their attitudes to other people. There are sheep and there are goats, the sheep are righteous and the goats are not. An extensive study of both animals would be sufficient as an article by itself.
2. The sheep were shocked and the goats were shocked. The sheep did not know when they saw God and gave him to eat, drink, invited him in, gave him clothes, took care of him or even visited him in prison. They were not looking at faces when they were doing it, it was a habit. The goats were also shocked – they would have done it if they knew it was God! They were God loving and God fearing.
3. Whatever you did to another human being, whatever interactions you had with them, can be equated to a dealing with God. It’s not what you do to the pastors that count, but what you do to even the least of God’s people.
4. A day will come, when all men will be judged. For what they did and for what they refused to do. I like the verse that says “Whatever you did not do…”. Some people are worrying about what they did wrong, I can’t imagine how they’ll fell when they get measured on what they didn’t even do at all.
5. There are 6 broad categories of kindness that are addressed here, and they are all applicable to life.
a. Hunger: People around you could be hungry for food, hungry for knowledge, hungry for change, hungry for wealth. How are you satisfying their hunger? How are you meeting needs? Food is for strenght, hunger is a desire for strenght in any area of life. Whose arms are you strenghening, who is achieving purpose because of you?
b. Thirst: Thirst is not for strenght it’s for life. We can survive for very long without food, but not for long without water. Thirst usually also accompanies hunger. People around you could be thirsty for water, thirsty for God, thirsty for a better life, thirsty for good news, people around you may be dying from lack. What are you doing about it? Whose thirst are you quenching? Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country – who are you bringing good tidings? Who are you making realized is loved? Who are you giving a reason to be confident? Whose thirst are you quenching?
c. Stranger: A stranger is someone who is new in an environment, a novice about a particular culture, someone who doesn’t know his way around, lacks direction, is unknown and doesn’t know. Needs support, needs guidance, needs direction, needs mentorship, needs a friend. Which stranger are you reaching out to? Who are you helping? Who are you leading, who are you guiding? Who are you inviting in? “I don’t know my talents” – that’s your stranger there. “I don’t know what to do” – another one! Find the strangers around you, and invite them in.
d. Clothless: Those who need clothing are those who are either naked, or are wearing rags. They are people who have done something wrong and shameful and are feeling out of place. Who are you giving clothes to? Who are you helping to adjust to a normal life? Whose back have you got covered? Who are you helping to save from riddicle? Who are you giving clothes to?
e. The Sick: The sick is the person that is helpless. The person who has been knocked down by the little things of life (aren’t those bacterias usually little?), who is feeling uncomfortable and helpless. This person has many obvious symptoms of not being okay. What are you doing about them? Can you remember any of them around you? Being sick is not a bad thing, it just means the person needs a Doctor a nurse or a caregiver. Are you qualified?
f. Prisoner: The prisoner is someone who has done wrong, someone who is carrying a heavy load from the seeds that he/she has sown. Someone who is being justly rewarded (or unjustly at times) for the things he has done. Some prisoners are there by no direct fault of theirs, but some are there by their own faults. The prisoner is the person who the laws of life or society are trying to bring to justice. She did something, and now she is facing something that seems the reward for what she did. What are you doing about those people? Are you visiting them? Are you giving care? Are you lending a helping hand?
Think about these, and remember where we started from…”you’ve got to try little kindness”. Let’s go all out and show kindness this season, and let’s see if we can come back and inspire others with our stories. One day, we will be rewarded!