A Rare Quality


Barely able to function, yet there I was in a new place, meeting new people.

We arrived early to meet the support group’s facilitator. In her presence, I felt comfort and acceptance. I knew I was safe with her.

She has a rare quality.

In The Book Thief, Rosa, Liesel's foster mother, lacks this quality. Yes, she is the proverbial efficient and productive German, but it's not what Liesel's heart needs as a newly-placed foster child.

Rosa scorns her husband Hans for his worthlessness. But ten-year-old Liesel soaks up the acceptance Hans offers as a flower imbibes the rain after a dry spell. “Liesel observed the strangeness of her foster father’s eyes. They were made of kindness and silver. Like soft silver, melting. Liesel, upon seeing those eyes, understood that Hans Huberman was worth a lot.”

Hans has a rare quality.

This quality says, “You matter.” “You are of great worth.” “I value you.”

The rare quality? Kindness.

In a world that values accomplishments, success, beauty, power, fame, and wealth, kindness gets discarded. It lies at the bottom of the heap. It gathers dust in the corner.

Though overlooked, we crave the expression of kindness in others. It's the need of every wounded soul. Of every soul.

Even in our neediness, we can be fountains of kindness toward others. Proverbs 31:26 says of the virtuous woman, “She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” (MKJV).

She learned kindness. She lived kindness. There's no better place to learn kindness than from God. He is mercy. He is kindness.

Kindness may be a rare commodity in our broken world, but kindness is abundant with God and in His work through others. How have God or others shown kindness to you when you were hurting?

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