When you think of the world today, would the first word that pops into your head to describe it be “kind”? Yea. Not for me either. It seems like most stories we hear or read today are highlighting the most drastic, inhumane, and narcissistic behaviors that completely overshadow any good things that happen in this world. There is still good things that happen in this world, right?
Well, that’s exactly what Leon Logothetis set out to prove.
Recently, I was sitting down with our kids to try to find something family friendly to watch with them. We came across a series on Netflix called The Kindness Diaries. It’s an epic journey where Leon’s travels are powered solely by kindness. He gave up his job as a broker and his home in London for a life on the road. Leon has now visited more than 90 countries and traveled to every continent. He travels the world on his yellow motorbike named (interestingly enough) Kindness One. With nothing more than a backpack, with no money or plan for where he will sleep at night, he relies entirely on the kindness of strangers to feed him and give him a place to stay.
In the 13 part series, one, in particular, stood out to me. As evening was nearing, Leon approached a stranger explaining his adventure and asking if he could spend the night with him. With tears in his eyes, this gentleman explained that he was homeless…but wanted him to go with him anyway. This homeless man gave Leon his best. His man-made bed out of dirty blankets on a hard concrete ground. Leon was blown away by his act of kindness. When the homeless man least expected it, his kindness was returned to him as Leon had connections to help find him a place to live as well as help him get enrolled in a technical college.
Kindness. Whether we’re giving it or receiving it, it marks us.
The kindness that Jesus shows is no different. It’s easy to think of His power, His faithfulness, and His love for mankind. But when we really pause and reflect, we see Him; and He is covered in kindness time and time again.
There are too many acts of kindness shown by Jesus to even begin to mention them all. Paul reminds us, “Love is kind”(I Corinthians 13); Nehemiah speaks out, “You are God, ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abundant in kindness” (Nehemiah 9:17 NKJV). David goes on to say, “Your lovingkindness is better than life” (Psalm 63:3).
I wonder how many times that Jesus is showing us His kindness and carrying things for us that we don’t know about? We know of some…mainly the “big” ones. He paid our eternal debt. He forgives our sins. But what about the everyday things?
Has he carried our fears before we felt them? Has he dealt with our confusion so we wouldn’t have to? Those times when we were surprised by our own sense of peace? Could it be that Jesus placed our anxieties on His shoulders?
Maybe you’re thinking this kindness stuff sounds a bit too girly and soft. I mean really. You go to conferences on strategic thinking, leadership and conquering mountains (using any force that’s necessary…the more violent and ugly the better!) Have you ever heard of a seminar on kindness? Probably not. Maybe there should be. And yet, this is at the top of the pyramid for Jesus.
What about us? Kindness at home. Kindness in public. It’s needed everywhere. How will we show kindness in our world? Grab your spouse or a friend, ask your kids – they tend to have the best ideas. It doesn’t have to be some big planned event. The smallest acts of kindness are just as meaningful.