“Ebed-Melek the Cushite said to Jeremiah, ‘Put these old rags and worn-out clothes under your arms to pad the ropes.’ Jeremiah did so, and they pulled him up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern.” Jeremiah 38:12-13
Ebed-Melek served in King Zedekiah’s palace. When he heard the king had thrown Jeremiah into a mud-filled pit, he refused to be silent. Risking his own position, he boldly asked the king if he could rescue Jeremiah. Ebed even provided rags for Jeremiah to place under his arms so the ropes wouldn’t cut through his skin as they lifted him up from the cistern. He proved to be kinder than necessary.
I think we sometimes avoid being kind because we don’t want to risk our reputation in a culture that values cool over caring. When our church was experiencing a devastating crisis, a friend who wanted to encourage us appeared on our doorstep with a turkey. He didn’t give us sage advice on how to deal with the matter. He didn’t even offer to pray with us. He simply extended kindness to us in an unusual way to communicate he cared. He actually looked a little silly. But you know what? That occurred over 40 years ago and I still remember it. Kindnesses offered in crises always seem kinder than necessary — no matter what form they take.
We live in a world where refugees are flooding stable nations. Where children are exploited as slaves. Where people are targeted because of the uniforms they wear or the color of their skin.
We live in a world in need of people willing to be kinder than necessary.
Father, thank You for Your kindness to us. I pray we would not be afraid to risk our position, comfort or reputation in order to show kindness to others. Help us reflect Your kindness in this hurting world. Amen.
Ask God today how you can be kinder than necessary to someone in your life.