Kindness and Compassion
John Telgren

God's lovingkindness is everlasting. In scripture, this word is sometimes translated as unfailing love, mercy, goodness ,and faithfulness. Here is a story I came across some time ago. I do not know the origin of it, but it illustrates what kindness looks like and the power it has to change someone.

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid walking home from school. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. A bunch of kids ran past him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses. As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives."

There was a smile on his face. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me. We talked all the way home, and I carried his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my friends. He said yes.

We hung all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him. And my friends thought the same of him. Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship.

Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak.

Kyle looked great on graduation day. He really found himself during high school. He filled out, looked good in glasses and all the girls loved him! I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!" "Thanks," he said.

Here is how he started his speech. "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach ... , but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story."

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. "Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable."

Wow, that is some story. I don't remember where I first heard it, but it is a wonderful illustration of the sort of thing God did for us. He showed us his love, mercy, and kindness. Because of his great love, we are no longer lost orphans, but are beloved children of God with a bright future (1 Jn 3:1-3).