Wednesday, July 5, 2017

"From sinking sand... with tender hand he lifted me."

Hymn: “In Loving-Kindness Jesus Came” – Words & Music by Charles H. Gabriel (1856-1932)

Whatever happened to kindness? Whatever happened to loving-kindness? When did rude and condescending become the norm? Or has it?

The opening line of this hymn describes the way Jesus approaches us: in loving- kindness, with mercy, through grace. That pretty well describes the Christ to whom I am attracted… still.

Stooping to scoop me up in his arms from sinking sand – even sinking sand from which I have been rescued previously and to which I too often return – THAT is the Savior I know and love… and worship.

He doesn’t grab me up by the scruff, yanking me against my will. It is rather with tender hands, soothing me and comforting even as I struggle to be freed from the quagmire which so strenuously seeks to suck me further downward.

I have many people to thank for showing kindness to me over the years, but I have Hedy and Raymond to thank for teaching me the importance of being kind… to extend that Christ-like loving-kindness. It was part of their nature… and it is becoming mine… and in turn, my nature is turning more toward Christ-like-ness.

Complaining, demanding one’s own way, whining – these are not the qualities that others are drawn to. And if we intend to be attracting people to our Lord, we must… absolutely MUST take on more of his kind nature. Some of us would rather robe ourselves in holiness than immerse ourselves in kindness. Wouldn’t some holy kindness be a possibility?

The next time I really want to be ‘mean,’ I need to remember the first line of this hymn… and come at life with loving-kindness – not forced nice-ness, but kind-hearted-ness which comes naturally because I am taking on HIS nature.

Remember, it wasn’t that long ago you were up to your neck in some kind of quicksand… and in loving-kindness Jesus came along. Constant awareness of whence we came and who brought us to where we are can make a real difference in our attitude, turning us from cranky fault-finders to pleasant representatives of the One who lifts us still. 

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Hymnlines - Hemlines: Get it?! :)

Hymnlines - Hemlines: Get it?! :)