There are few hearts so hard, few spirits so churlish, as not to be affected by kindness. Think about it...a kind thought is influential, a kind word is encouraging, and a kind deed is at all times a blessing.
Many years ago, a man spoke a few kind words to a young woman who was in ill health. It was not an overly profound utterance, but as the years rolled along the woman never forgot the man's words. On her death bed, in fact, she expressed an earnest desire to see the man again if he was still alive.
The man was located and summoned directly. When he entered the hospital room, the woman wasted no time in explaining that the words he had spoken when she was unwell many years before had led her to believe that he would be willing to render another deed of kindness in her dying hour.
She said that something was laying heavily on her mind. It seems that she had for some time been at variance with a friend who had judged her unfairly and this had resulted in unresolved, hard feelings between the two. To forgive and be forgiven, and to die in peace with her estranged friend, was the desire of her soul.
The man said he would see what he could do to fulfill her wish and within hours he was able to entice the friend to the dying woman's hospital bed.
The two old friends wept, prayed and forgave each other. In a few days, with a mind impressed with a sense of abundant mercy, the woman died in the presence of her reconciled friend, calmly and confidently committing her spirit into the hands of her Redeemer.
This is a rather simple story about several acts of kindness that had a major impact on a sick woman's life. The sad part is that she waited until her last hours were numbered to resolve the issue that was so troubling to her. But how many a death has been rendered unhappy because a dispute and associated unkindness was left unresolved?
Perhaps we should take a review of our own past lives. It is never too late to atone for the manifold acts of unkindness that we might find there. We can obtain peace of mind and clarity with mankind if we are mindful of the amazing grace that pardons us.
A scripture passage comes to mind: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you and persecute you."