2 And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold.
Acts 28:2 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”
As I write this, we’re supposed to receive a snowfall later today. But right now there’s no snow—just a bitterly cold gray morning with drizzly rain. My dad used to describe weather like this as “damp and disagreeable,” and I think that’s a very apt description. It’s that kind of cold dampness that gets down into your bones.
It made me think of the Scripture lesson at the top. The Apostle Paul and his co-workers were in a shipwreck that stranded them on the island of Malta. It was a cold and rainy day, and I am sure they were all miserable. But, the natives on the island took care of the stranded travelers by kindling a fire and making them all welcome. St. Luke (who wrote the Book of Acts and was there when the story took place) remarked that in doing this the natives showed “unusual kindness”.
What made the natives’ kindness so “unusual”? Well, first of all, it was unusual in its extent; it seems they went above and beyond to make the missionaries and sailors comfortable. But probably the most unusual thing was the identity of the ones providing the comfort. These natives were ignorant of the Holy Gospel, and yet they showed kindness that we expect to be found in Christian people. It was an uncommon amount of kindness from an unlikely group of people.
As we look at the sin-sick world in which we all live today, circumstances sometimes seem cold and gray. Kindness, in any form, seems to be in short supply. In today’s world, it’s often pretty “unusual” to see any display of kindness. But if the natives in today’s Scripture story, who were without a doubt pagans, were able to show great kindness, what does that say about us who wear the name of Christ?
Shouldn’t loving deeds be the daily pattern of our lives, and shouldn’t we give warmth and comfort to those we daily come in contact with?
St. Luke was touched by their thoughtfulness—he even mentioned it in the Bible! In the same way, I believe those around you will be touched by your life—if you take time to do kind deeds that share the comfort of Christ.
Dear mamas, make it your prayer this week to ask the Lord to show you someone whose life you can warm and brighten. Pray that the Heavenly Father will give you His grace so that kindness will be your regular routine—nothing “unusual” for you!
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad” * He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is over halfway through his 25th year of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 18) and Seth (age 15) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where it is supposed to snow today, even though the Preacher wrote last week that it rarely snows. Maybe he should write about never winning a lottery.) You should write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.