Thursday, October 17, 2013

Kindness - Guest Post by Rose Chandler Johnson

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me’” Matthew 25:40 (KJV).

When my son Justin was in Iraq in 2003 with the 82nd Airborne, several news correspondents were embedded with the troops. Peter Sleeth, with the Oregonian, was one such reporter who posted his stories on the web. I searched for news daily. It had been several weeks since the war had begun, and we had not heard a word from Justin. As the weeks past, fewer stories regarding the 82nd appeared. Then one day my search yielded, the following link: “Just back from Iraq, see Peter Sleeth’s new photo gallery”. With one click, four pictures of my son Justin popped onto the screen.

 [These pictures are on my blog:]

 There was my son Justin, dressed head to toe in full army gear, the helmet buckled under his chin, his face and hands smeared with dirt. With a pensive look on his face, he sat crouched on dusty cement steps facing a little dark haired girl and boy. They too were dirty and somber, and sat at his knees looking up into his face. His arms were outstretched to them, as he gave the little girl and barefoot boy sips of water from his bottle. The little boy held a bag of Skittles, which had been in Justin’s MRE (meal ready to eat). The caption beneath the picture said Justin was caring for the little children, while paramedics cared for their mother nearby. On the following Sunday, which was Easter, the story behind the picture of my son and the little children was a featured story.

When I saw the pictures, my heart overflowed with joy and gratitude to God for his loving kindness to me. I was so eager to have any news of my son. What a miracle to get this glimpse of his activities in Iraq. Out of thousands of soldiers, my son was photographed at that particular moment. Of all the things he could have been doing, his kind deed was captured on camera for me to see.

I can never repay God for that kindness. Justin deeds were acts of kindness as well. Kindness is a gentle gift from the heart of the giver, that does good to the heart of the receiver. Such is the nature of kindness. The giver expects nothing in return.
Paul says in Ephesians, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”  Jesus takes every act of kindness personally. Every act of kindness touches the very heart of God.

Suggested Readings: Proverbs 25:11; Proverbs 31:25; Ephesians 4:32.

 Journaling Considerations:

Has something happened in your life that you think was a special act of God’s kindness?

Have you shown His kindness to someone lately?

Prayer:  Dear Father God, thank you for your tender mercies. You are most gracious and full of loving kindness. Help me to be kind in my words and deeds.
In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

Today’s Sweet Tea Moment:  It doesn’t cost a cent, to give the priceless gift of kindness.
Prayer Focus:  Children in need.

Rose Chandler Johnson's devotional journal, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments released in July from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Her devotions, poems, and articles have appeared in numerous Christian publications. She enjoys writing for her popular blog, Write Moments with God, and engaging with her readers. Rose is from a tiny Georgia town, and has lived near Augusta, GA for the last twenty-eight years. For the last twenty years, Rose has been a French and English teacher. She's also worked as a counselor, librarian, and ESOL teacher. Rose enjoys baking, gardening, and spending time with her six children and their families.


  1. Rose, I love this story! It brings tears to my eyes at both your son's kindness to the children and God's kindness to you. What a vivid example of Christ's love! Thank you for sharing! And thank you for writing your awesome devotional, "God, Me & Sweet Iced Tea!" I loved it from start to finish.

    And Lorilyn, Happy Birthday, dear lady!

  2. Sweet story, Rose. You are so right about an act of kindness goes right to God's heart. Jesus said, "In as much as you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to Me." So even that drink of water He remembers. Makes me want to be more aware of how I interact with others--to pass on the kindness of my Savior.

  3. Thank you Elaine and Carol for your comments. As I'm sure you know, this story touched me deeply. God is so kind. I'm still amazed at what He did for me with those pictures and that story about my son. Today's Lori's birthday! Isn't she precious. I feel special being on here on her day. God bless you all.

  4. This is a wonderful story, and I know it blessed your heart to see a picture of your son and hear his kind acts. God blesses us with sweet moments.

    1. Thank you Melissa. It was an amazing thing. That morning I had not cried, all those weeks, but on that morning I cried tears of joy and everyone I worked with cried too. I was a special gift from God. I'm glad you read this special story.

  5. Thank you for sharing this. So inspiring.

  6. Thank you Lisa. I appreciate you saying so.