The Blessings of Kindness

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Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. —Hebrews 13:2, NKJV

As a child, I did not think our family was poor.

I do not recall ever being without food.

We always had nice clothes because Mother was an extraordinarily talented dressmaker and never needed to use a pattern in designing our clothes.

Our dad cultivated the land, and there was food sufficient to share with neighbors and family members. The family homestead of our great-grandfather was among the largest in the district. But when we emigrated, we could no longer pick fruit from the trees as we had been accustomed to doing. We now purchased fruit by weight.

Although Mom now had to work outside the home, nothing changed in her practice of kindness. There was always room at our table for one more.

Living in our new country, we experienced more darkness than sunshine, more cold than heat. We interacted with people who spoke English with accents that sounded foreign to us. We were acutely aware of our differences.

Mother realized she needed to look out for other immigrants from the Caribbean diaspora because they, too, were struggling to adjust.

Mother opened our home to complete strangers who simply needed to be with a “family” that looked and spoke like them. We were often awakened in the middle of the night and told we needed to “double up” with a sibling because Mother needed our bed for a stranger who had no place to sleep. Sometimes we would wake up to a crying child she had taken in because the mother’s childcare arrangements had failed, and that mom needed to be at work and had nowhere else to turn. Mother’s kindness resulted in establishing the first Seventh-day Adventist church in Chorley, Lancashire, England, when she turned our living room into a “sanctuary” for the few Seventh-day Adventists in the area who had nowhere to worship.

I wish I could tell you that I was always gracious and welcoming to those my mother chose to share our home with. However, when I ventured out on my own, it did not take long for me to start replicating the extraordinary blessings of my mother’s kindness. I implore you to sow seeds of kindness. An abundant harvest is guaranteed!

Avis Mae Rodney

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