During World War II, Irena Sendler, a social worker from Poland, worked in the Warsaw ghettos,
the place where the Germans had confined the Jews, before the Holocaust. Because of the deplorable conditions and the impending danger for the Jews under Hitler, Irena and a few othershad to smuggle children out of this terrible place. This was an extremely dangerous task because the penatly for reomving anyone from the ghetto was death. Irena did not have to do this as she had no debt to the Jews nor was she Jewish herself. She was not forced to be kind to them, yet she did it anyways. Sendler and her partners are credited today with saving about 2,500 lives, people who would have probably died under Nazi oppression. The smuggling of children was eventually suspected and she was arrested by the Gestapo. The Germans tortured and imprisoned her in an attempt to extract the names of the children she rescued, but Irena did not divulge one name. Sendler showed this immense amount of bravery and courage because of her kindness to the Jews.
Kindness is one of the most powerful forces in this world. Unfortunately, we are tempted not to
show it. Oftentimes, we become too engrossed in ourselves and our problems that we forget to think about others. It is so easy to believe that the world revolves around our problems and difficulties. Many times, we relish kindness from others but never think about giving it away.
Christians are commanded to practice kindness with unbelievers and believers alike. The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:32 writes: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." Jesus was more than kind to us on the cross, was He not? Acts of kindness can be big and small.
Jesus himself portrayed how Christians should be kind to all even those who are looked down
upon. The story of the Good Samaritan has been taught to us since we were toddlers. Luke 10:34- 35 says, “So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.” This Samaritan did not have to stop and care for this man; he could have just walked past like the priest and the Levite did. He had all the excuses to avoid helping because his people were basically tortured by the Jews, but he did not. The Samaritan stopped, stayed, cared for the man, and payed all his expenses. Have you been a Good Samaritan lately or have you stayed in the cozy corners of the inn?
Although our kindness might not be as world-changing as Irena Sendler’s or as famous as the
Good Samaritan’s, but they can be life-changing. Everyone has their bad days and we all need
encouragement when we are going through the valleys. At this time, acts of kindness can be extremely effective and can bring our brother or sister up. A simple smile to the lonely kid on your street, a helping hand to the little old lady crossing the street, or a genuine conversation with those who none want to talk to are all example of small things we can do as Christians to show kindness. Most importantly, kindness shows Christ through our lives, and when the world does not care we can show that Jesus cares about the one last forsaken sheep. Through our compassion and love we can show to the world why we are different and why we stand out as those who care for others more than themselves. Will you obey what the Master has asked and be kind?
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. – Colossians 3:12
Yeshuwa Varghese (15) is on staff with CLM/TPS Chapel and a student at The Potter's School.