“'The LORD bless him!' Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. 'He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.' She added, 'That man is our close relative; he is one of our kinsman-redeemers.'” – Ruth 2:20
The Appalachian Trail is a rugged footpath that runs from Northern Georgia to Central Maine along the crest of the Appalachian Mountains. It passes through 14 states and all kinds of unpredictable weather. At age 21, Nick, an avid outdoorsman raised in Maine, decided the journey would be a good adventure. The trek takes an average of 6 months. Hiking 20 miles a day through the wilderness for 5 or 6 months will get you to a place you’ve never been before.
“I guess I wasn’t prepared for two things,” says Nick. “How hard sections of the trail were going to be, and all the small acts of kindness along the way that kept me going.” Those thru-hikers who complete the entire 2,200 miles talk about trail magic, little acts of kindness that happen at exactly the time they are needed. “I had been living on filtered water and granola bars for a month, my legs were aching, my body hurt, and I was having that once-a-week feeling of quitting. I came around a corner, and there was a bag of clementines (oranges) hanging from a tree. A small thing at home, but on the trail, the taste of that fresh fruit was so amazing it kept me going for days.”
As Nick learned, the people who live in the towns that border the trail see it as a privilege to give. “People blindside you with kindness,” Nick says. They provide rides into town when hikers need to replenish. They open their homes to a fresh shower after months on the trail. And they offer encouragement to keep going.
In all that we do, we need to be kind to others. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to make kindness a quality that you would tirelessly give others.
"It is the history of our kindnesses that alone make the world tolerable. If it were not for that—for the effect of kind words, kind looks, kind letters, multiplying, spreading, making one happy through another, and bringing forth benefits, some thirty, some fifty, some a thousandfold—I should be tempted to think our life a practical jest in the worst possible spirit." – Robert Louis Stevenson
God’s Word: “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” – Colossians 3:12