In Come Share the Being, Bob Benson told of an electrician they nicknamed Motormouth because he was such a talker. He always had a smile and a ready answer to any question. But one day Motormouth shot himself.
Benson wrote, "I'd asked him lots of times how he was doing, but I guess I had never asked him in a way that made him want to tell me. Life in a way is like those electric bumper cars at the amusement park. We just run at each other and smile and bump and away we go."
Kindness is time-consuming. It takes time to visit people, to do small favors, to listen to the heartaches and heart longings of others, to run errands for them, to help them with their work, to write them letters, to give of our time and strength to brighten their lives.
Sometimes, though, kindness requires almost no time, just a sincere interest in others. It is a matter of awareness and sensitivity that are very simple in nature. A smile. A hug. A sharing.
Someone has said that if you wanted to express Christianity in one English word, you would use the word "kindness." In the early centuries, pagans confused the words "kindly" and "Christ" because the Greek words were so much alike, but, as Tertullian remarked, they were so close in meaning that no harm was done by the confusion.
Jesus, please help me not to grieve the Holy Spirit by being unkind.
"Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God....Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other" (Eph. 4:30, 32).