|Posted by communications on October 7, 2020 at 11:55 AM|
I recently placed an ad in search of a musical instrument for one of our Escuelita families. I described our ministry preschool and our close community. The offers flooded in. After picking it up and watching the huge grin that confirmed a young boy’s dreams, I reflected on the kindness of strangers.
La Escuelita San Alban Bilingual Preschool exists in large part due to the kindness of strangers in the form of donations and volunteering. We don't remain strangers long, however. The joy is overpowering and we find ourselves committed. We find fresh resolve to be those sorts of people ourselves. We are united in kindness.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Matthew 25: 35-36
Most of us are preoccupied with our own problems. But then a moment comes when we see the fingerprints of God in the kindness of strangers. We see a glimpse of the creatures we were intended by God to be in the first place. We are reminded of how far short we so routinely fall from that intention. One act of kindness can transform a person’s day, or even their life. As the saying goes, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
Some kindnesses are communal like the group donations from the Davidson Foundation and St. Alban’s Episcopal Church for Covid-related assistance for the families of Escuelita. Kindness is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit: Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and acts of kindness led to the growth of the church. Early evangelism! Heeding the voice of God to know the right action and the right time requires deep listening and openness to the cries of needy neighbors.
Let us give thanks this year for the kindness of strangers. Let it be for the myriad ways that ordinary people lavish kindness and hospitality, mercy and goodness, on others. I will try to bring God’s love and kindness into someone’s life today.