Human Kindness

“Human kindness . . . “

“When we give to the poor, the Lord considers it as precious as a valuable ring. Human kindness is as precious to him as life itself.”  (Sirach 17:22) (An Apocryphal book of the Old Testament)

When I was looking at some of my photos this morning I was drawn to the similarities of two.  The first is a baby bear cub greedily emptying a bottle offered to him by one of the wildlife refuge managers.  I was privileged to get a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility and meet some of the orphaned babies they were raising.

The second photo captures a statue in a basilica in St. Louis.  The statue depicts St. Anthony offering a loaf of bread to a hungry man.  I was visiting the basilica while I was in town to do a wedding.

If you recall, I decided during this Easter season to continue to contemplate God’s miracles that help to make so much go right.  I believe I’ve come to focus upon an important one – human kindness.  I don’t think I’ve ever thought of human kindness as being a miracle from God, but I will now.  In order for that human hand to stretch out to another, be it a bear cub or another human being, something miraculous has to happen inside the giver.  The one offering the bread must suspend even for a moment, their thoughts, anxieties, dreams, etc. about themselves, and instead, focus on the other.  In my opinion, that’s a huge leap, one possible because of God’s love demonstrated for us, and replicated by others toward us.

The experience of God’s love is what motivates and empowers me to offer human kindness to others.  Think about it for a moment.  Where would we be without human kindness?  Human kindness is what forms the basis for trusting community, not laws.  Without human kindness we would never be able to hire enough police to keep harmony and order.  Maybe one way to define evil is the absence of human kindness.  When human kindness reigns we bask in harmony, peace, and justice.  When basic human kindness is overpowered by greed, self-indulgence, self-aggrandizement, fear, and hate, the door is opened for a canyon to be carved between us.

I am convinced that human kindness is one of God’s greatest miracles.  When Jesus told us in the Gospel of John, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another,”  I think he was emphasizing the power of one of God’s greatest miracles – human kindness.  I pray that God will help me recognize and work against anything or anyone that would suggest we follow any course that would stray from basic human kindness.  I also pray that God will help me exercise human kindness constantly and extravagantly.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,


Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church

Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit

My other book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at and

Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”

~ by revgenelson on May 3, 2017.

One Response to “Human Kindness”

  1. Wow Gary! Well written. I think it’s insightful too, another reason to keep fear out of our lives, if we can.

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