Friday, June 21, 2013

Daniel’s Milkshake by Jeff Wiles

The day had been long, and it wasn’t over yet.

It was the day of my wife’s grandmother’s funeral. We were exhausted by the time we reached home. We sat on the porch for a while, my wife still crying. And then I heard a strange gurgling sound coming from the kitchen. I looked inquisitively at my wife. Through teary eyes, she informed me she had recently taught our son Daniel how to make milkshakes. And since he wasn’t renowned for cleanliness, I sighed, thinking about the mess he’d make. Then the front door opened, and Daniel gently handed the milkshake to his mother. Suddenly I wasn’t concerned about the mess in the kitchen.

Daniel’s milkshake reminded me of the great effect personal acts of kindness have upon the grieving and hurting. Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32 NLT).

We live in such an impersonal world. We rarely visit nor do we even talk on the phone that much. Communication is generally by text messages and emails. We use ATMs instead of bank tellers. And scheduling appointments means pressing multiple buttons just to hear another human’s voice.

Sadly, many Christians have fallen into the comfort of our impersonal world. We will give to missions and drop canned goods in the soup kitchen box as long as we don’t have to go on mission trips or serve meals to the homeless. But these indirect ways of help will never bring the blessing to us or others that personal acts of kindness will. Such acts of mercy are what separated Jesus from the religious regalia of his day.

My wife and I can’t remember the cards of sympathy we received or who sent flowers to the funeral home, but we’ll never forget Daniel’s milkshake.

Prayer: God of mercy and kindness, motivate us to share Your kindness through a personal touch.

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