Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”…The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) John 4:6-7; 9 ESV
When we think of kindness we often think of giving, but kindness is really about sharing and sometimes sharing begins when we ask for help. Asking for help tells someone else that they have importance and value. Notice in the story today, just how amazed the Samaritan woman was, when Jesus asked her for a drink. “After all,” she reasoned, “I am just a woman, and a Samaritan one at that.! Because in her experience not only were women treated with badly, but Samaritans, in particular, were the object of racial discrimination by the Jews.
But then Jesus began speaking to her and offering a living water that He had for her to drink. Now, both a little startled and confused, she began asking some questions of her own. To her surprise, she found that, unlike other men she had known, He was patient and willing to listen. At that moment, it was not His mighty works or miracles that unlocked her heart, but His kindness. What greater gift we could give another than the kindness of Jesus, that says to them, “I have time for you, and you matter to me!” So on this second day of 12 gifts, why not ask, “To who can I give a gift of kindness today?” We won’t need to go searching high and low. Just leave the searching to God. He has a funny way of bringing us just the right someone if we’ll just sit down by a well and rest!
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant. 1 Corinthians 13:4
“You promised to take them on a picnic!” my grandfather boomed with his deep ship’s captain voice. “You must be kind and you have to keep your promises!” About a year after Nancy and I married we stayed for a few months with my grandparents while I was unemployed. I not only adored my grandparents but I asked to go there because my they were the only ones I knew would welcome us without question. So Nancy and I, along with our two month old son went there until I could get a job and save money for an apartment.
I was stunned to hear the anger and disappointment in my grandfather’s voice. What hurt the most was knowing that he was absolutely right. As a new husband and father I got the part about working hard, and being willing to sacrifice, but what I missed somewhere along the way was learning to be kind.
“I’m sorry!” I blurted out to my grandfather. “Don’t just tell me, tell them.” He answered lowering his voice just a bit. Then as he turned and began to leave he stopped and added “Remember that a gentleman is always kind.”
Some fruits of the Spirit, like joy and peace can be enjoyed in solitude but for patience and kindness we need other people. Kindness is not just about me, it is remembering to keep my promises and get packed for the picnic today!
“Jacob’s Spring” was there. Jesus, tired with his journey, sat down beside it, just as he was. The time was about midday. Presently, a Samaritan woman arrived to draw some water. “Please give me a drink,” Jesus said to her, for his disciples had gone away to the town to buy food. John 4:6-8
When we think of an act of kindness we often think of giving, but often kindness is more about the act of sharing. When we ask for help we are telling someone that they have importance and value. How surprised the woman was that day at Jesus asking for a drink. His moment of kindness unlocked her heart to Him. There is no greater gift we may give someone than the smallest kindness that says to them, “I have time for you and you matter to me!”