Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to each other, in the same way God forgave you in Christ.
Ephesians 4:32 CEB
Drivers mashed their horns and swerved around me. My little blue car sat right in the middle of the off-ramp, and it wasn’t going anywhere. Just as I was exiting to head back to my new job, my car just stopped. The engine wouldn’t turn over, and I didn’t know what to do. I was nineteen, without a cell phone, and living on my own in a new city. I’d never had to deal with a broke-down car on an off-ramp before.
A soft tap on my driver’s side window startled me. I assumed the middle-aged man outside my window wanted to holler at me for blocking the ramp, so I only cracked my window a little. “Put it in neutral,” he said.
I did. He pushed my car off onto the shoulder, and then offered me a ride to a phone.
He probably doesn’t remember me. But I remember him. He could have gotten agitated by my inconveniently parked car. I was in his way just as much as I was in any other driver’s way. Instead of honking at me or flipping me the bird, he chose to be kind and help me out.
And kindness is a choice, isn’t it? We can choose to put ourselves into another person’s shoes. We can choose to act out of kindness and compassion instead of acting out of anger and judgment.
If we allow ourselves to be open to the Holy Spirit, our first instincts won’t be to lay on the horn and drive around. Our first instinct will be to listen to the problem and offer to help.
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God, please help me to choose kindness, even when it’s not convenient. Allow the Holy Spirit to work through me and influence my actions.
Kristy Burmeister writes about stalkers, church-related trauma, feminism, and pie (pretty much in that order) at kristyburmeister.com. She's currently working on a memoir about a church that almost got her murdered when she was a teenager. (Spoiler: She's still alive.)