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Knowing and Loving

By |2023-10-12T02:33:22-04:00October 12th, 2023|

In the powerful article “Does My Son Know You?” sportswriter Jonathan Tjarks wrote of his battle with terminal cancer and his desire for others to care well for his wife and young son. The thirty-four-year-old wrote the piece just six months prior to his death. Tjarks, a believer in Jesus whose father had died when he was a young adult, shared Scriptures that speak of care for widows and orphans (Exodus 22:22; Isaiah 1:17; James 1:27). And in words directed to his friends, he wrote, “When I see you in heaven, there’s only one thing I’m going to ask—Were you good to my son and my wife? . . . Does my son know you?”

King David wondered if there was “anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom [he could] show kindness for [his dear friend] Jonathan’s sake” (2 Samuel 9:1). A son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth, who was “lame in both feet” (v. 3) due to an accident (see 4:4), was brought to the king. David said to him, “I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table” (9:7). David showed loving care for Mephibosheth, and it’s likely that in time he truly got to know him (see 19:24–30).

Jesus has called us to love others just as He loves us (John 13:34). As He works in and though us, let’s truly get to know and love them well.

Acts of Kindness

By |2023-09-07T02:33:40-04:00September 7th, 2023|

Months after suffering a miscarriage, Valerie decided to have a garage sale. Gerald, a neighbor craftsman a few miles away, eagerly bought the baby crib she was selling. While there, his wife talked with Valerie and learned about her loss. After hearing of her situation on the way home, Gerald decided to use the crib to craft a keepsake for Valerie. A week later he tearfully presented her with a beautiful bench. “There’s good people out there, and here’s proof,” Valerie said.

Like Valerie, Ruth and Naomi suffered great loss. Naomi’s husband and two sons had died. And now she and her bereft daughter-in-law Ruth had no heirs and no one to provide for them (Ruth 1:1–5). That’s where Boaz stepped in. When Ruth went to a field to pick up leftover grain, Boaz—the owner—asked about her. When he learned who she was, he was kind to her (2:5–9). Amazed, Ruth asked, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes?” (v. 10). He replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband” (v. 11).

Boaz later married Ruth and provided for Naomi (chap. 4). Through their marriage, a forefather of David—and of Jesus—was born. As God used Gerald and Boaz to help transform another’s grief, He can work through us to show kindness and empathy to others in pain.

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