Clothed in Compassion

Imagine how different our world might be if we got up each morning and wrapped ourselves in kindness before we left home. 

Posted in , Apr 13, 2018


I’ve been the recipient of kindness, and I’ve also been the giver. And I’ve discovered something important: Kindness is a blessing no matter whether I’m giving or receiving.

The beautiful thing about kindness is that it doesn’t have to be something big or expensive to deliver a large impact. Sometimes it’s the little things that pack a wallop.

My husband Paul has delivered kindness to me on so many occasions. One of those moments arrived during a week when I was dealing with some difficult circumstances. I got up one morning and discovered a note on the kitchen counter that read, “I’m praying for you. Love you!” His simple note made me feel cherished, and lifted some of the burden from my shoulders. 

Another time, when I was on a tight deadline and facing many long days of work, I woke up one morning and discovered that Paul had gotten up early and emptied the dishwasher, loaded it, wiped off the kitchen counters and had put all the laundry away. His kindness moved me to tears.

I teach quite often at writer’s conferences, and many of the conferees return year after year. I’m always so touched when they bring me gifts. Most of the items aren’t too expensive, but their kindness and the thought and love behind the gifts always melts my heart.

One of my friends brought me a gift for my birthday. She knows I’m frequently at conferences, and she bought me a beautiful lanyard that looks like a necklace. But it was what she said after I opened it that moved me to tears. She said, “I sat and prayed my way around all the beads on the lanyard, praying for you and all your projects.” Such precious kindness!

God says it best. In Colossians 3:12: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” I love the analogy of being “clothed” with compassion and kindness. Imagine how different our world might be if we got up each morning and wrapped ourselves in kindness before we left home.

Ephesians 4:32 tells us, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Kindness is a package deal that includes having our hearts tender to others and even (gulp) forgiving others. That can be difficult at times, but it comes into perspective if we really stop to think about how God forgave us.

So that leads to an important question for each of us: What can we do to be kind to someone today? I can promise that we’ll make the recipient’s day better—and in the wonderful way that kindness always works, our day will become better as well.

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