She [Ruth] said, “Oh sir, such grace, such kindness—I don’t deserve it. You’ve touched my heart, treated me like one of your own. And I don’t even belong here!” Ruth 2:16
This week has been set aside to observe National Random Acts of Kindness. The story in the Book of Ruth epitomizes acts of kindness. When Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, became widows, in order to survive Naomi chose to return to Bethlehem and encouraged Naomi Ruth to go home to her people, Ruth refused, saying, “Don’t force me to leave you; don’t make me go home. Where you go, I go; and where you live, I’ll live.” (Ruth 1:16) An extreme act of kindness.
Naomi introduced Ruth to her cousin, Boaz, and Ruth began to glean his fields to provide food for Naomi and herself. Boaz, out of a random act of kindness, instructed his field workers to leave extra grain for Ruth to easily glean. Eventually, they were married.
Research shows when married couples do random acts of kindness to one another, they become more emotionally involved as a couple. Acts of kindness have always made me feel loved and cared for far more than bringing me flowers or candy. On Valentine’s Day, my friend, Frank, knowing how much I love popcorn, kindly purchased a jar of popcorn and popped me a big bowl full the old fashioned way. Today, I’m making him chocolate chip cookies.
Dear Lord, help us be kinder and more loving all year long. Amen.