These Words Are At The Core Of God’s Law

Say these few words to yourself three times, silently. Use them as your prayer for the day. They are at the core of the law of God and their sentiment is voiced over and over again throughout the entirety of the Holy Scriptures. This is a prayer for every day, a meditation for the soul and for the living actions we undertake throughout our days.

“…whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” “…whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” “…whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” Kindness is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit that we find in Paul’s letter to the Galatians: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22) These are the virtues that mark the Christian life. Note that they are not virtues that we are to offer only to our Christian brothers and sisters, but to all of God’s children, especially those in great need. We are to make no distinctions. We are to see Christ in all those we meet. We are to see Christ himself suffering in the lives of the needy. When we serve the suffering and the needy we are serving Christ in the person of that suffering individual.

My Irish grandmother used to tell me to always serve those you see who are suffering, because you never know if it is Jesus in the disguise of the suffering other. Her thoughts were inspired by her deep faith and love for Jesus. She was no “theologian” in the official sense of the world, but her innocent and abiding faith made her wise in matters like this.

Kindness is one of the most attractive behaviors in the human repertoire. It is one of the life-giving and healing virtues. With kindness we can turn depression into joy, rejection into acceptance. Kindness is the simplest expression of human love. It is rooted in love and offers the power of love to the suffering and needy other with simple gestures. We offer kindness because we recognize the value and the worth of the other, no matter how they look, or what their condition. We see beyond, or behind the externals. Rather, we see the image and likeness of God in them. That is why we go out of ourselves in gestures of kindness then—-because of love. God is in such things, isn’t he.

Lord fill our hearts with the nourishing and healing milk of human kindness. Let our habits of kindness bring the needy closer to you. Let our kindness be rooted in our love and our faith in you. Make it possible for us to see you in the needy and the suffering others that we meet in our days, at home, in our neighborhood, in the streets and byways of our daily lives. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.
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