by Mike Riley
The story is told of a man who once worked for a coal company. Near the company offices was a railroad, and each day, several freight trains would pass by. The man often noticed that the owner of the company would throw chunks of coal over the fence at various places along the track.
One day he asked the owner why he did this.
The owner replied, “An elderly woman lives across the street, and I know that her pension is inadequate to buy enough coal. After the trains go by, she walks along and picks up the pieces she thinks have fallen from the coal car behind the engine. She doesn’t realize that diesels have replaced steam locomotives. I don’t want to disappoint her, so I just throw some pieces over the fence.”
Brethren and friends, this is Christianity in action!
The book of Ruth vividly portrays this principle of giving. When Boaz saw Ruth gathering grain behind the reapers in his field, he commanded them to leave some handfuls of grain for her (Ruth 2:4-17). To her, this was a blessing from the Lord (Ruth 2:18-23).
In the same way, the people whose lives we touch can experience God’s love through our compassion and generosity. This is why we should ask God to provide us opportunities to show kindness to our fellow man.
Brethren and friends, let us always remember that “kindness is the oil that takes the friction out of life.”
-Mike Riley lives in El Paso, TX