Sunday, September 24, 2017

Bowels of Kindness

In the aftermath of hurricane Irma, we noticed that the damage and destruction caused to so many families was far greater than we anticipated. There are still thousands without electricity and so many without homes; being stripped of all their possessions and most basic necessities. But what has struck me more than the terrible loss in these communities hard hit by the hurricane’s onslaught, is the overwhelming kindness and generosity of people who have sprung up from everywhere to help.

From such a terrible catastrophe, has come the most beautiful acts of kindness. It has really touched my heart to see the goodness people have in their hearts for others, even strangers, that have had their worlds turned upside down.

This made me think of Colossians 3:12 that’s says, “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering...”

One translation actually says we are to put on “bowels of mercies, kindness,...” 

What an unusual way to describe the way we are to display these beautiful characteristics. “BOWELS of....”. Well, according to the Greek translation of this phrase, it actually refers to someone being stirred with deep feelings of compassion from deep within their spirit. So much so that they feel they must immediately respond to the conviction of their hearts through words and actions.

The wonderful part of this is that as we respond to others with this kind of truly, heartfelt kindness, the Holy Spirit simultaneously works through us. Through us, He reaches out and makes a spiritual deposit into the lives of those who are suffering and find themselves on the receiving end of our tender words and gracious acts.

When we heard of the devastation hurricane Irma brought to communities right next to ours, it was very easy to find people in the process of reaching out to help. They were setting up teams of volunteers to collect supplies, linen, clothes and anything else to provide some sort of relief to the families affected. So the children and I jumped into action and joined in, adding as much as we were able to the loads of relief goods, ready to be taken and distributed. Before we left our contribution, we prayed over it, thanking the Lord for the opportunity we had to give something of ourselves to help those who desperately needed it. We prayed that it would be a blessing to them and bring them hope and comfort, even joy, and that somehow, through it all, they would see His hand of love and provision in it.  

I really do believe, that when we respond to the stirring of compassion in our hearts for others, the Holy Spirit Himself is using us as His vessels of love to reach out to others. That’s why it’s so important to not ignore or suppress those deep feelings that urge us to take action and help, and to act immediately. Too often, when we don’t do something right away, we fall prey of reasoning ourselves out of being the blessing God intended for us to be. How tragic to lose the opportunity to be His representative to others who need to feel His love and goodness in their lives.

We don’t need to wait for a disaster to act in kindness either. Paul said we are to put on these wonderful qualities because we are God’s representatives. We can ask Him every day to show us how we can touch people’s lives through His goodness and mercy. What a wonderful way to live.  

Won’t you join me in putting on “bowels of mercies, kindness, humility, meekness and long-suffering...” each day, to see God’s love being demonstrated through us.

Much love,


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