“Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!” (Hebrews 13:1-2)
 
Have you ever heard the saying, “Kindness counts”? Well, it really does. Being kind to a best friend or a favorite auntie is easy. But as you’ll soon see from this story, being kind to people we don’t know is important, too.
 
Long, long ago, in Holland, there lived an old woman. Now, this woman was not a kind person. In fact, she was quite cranky, and often rude. One week, this woman saw a stranger in her church. The man was dressed very neatly, but his clothes were ordinary, and not fancy at all. The cranky old woman watched as this very ordinary looking man walked up the aisle and took a seat near the front of the church.
 
The man sat down where she usually sat, and the cranky old woman didn’t like that one bit! She walked right up to him and rudely asked him to leave. The man took one of the seats at the back of the church that—in those days—were reserved for the poor. The cranky old lady sat down in her usual seat, quite happy that some stranger didn’t take it from her!
 
After the church service someone asked the cranky old lady, “Do you know who that man was?”
 
“Well, no,” the old woman answered, “he was just some stranger.”
 
“Oh, no!” the other person answered. “That was King Oscar of Sweden. He is in Holland to visit the Queen.”
 
The cranky old woman didn’t know what to say. She had been terribly rude to a king!
 
The old woman was embarrassed because she had treated someone so important so badly. But the Bible tells us that we are all important. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ and we are all created by God.
 
We should be kind to everyone—friend or stranger. We should be kind not just because they might be someone important, but because we are all important. We are all children of God. Who could be more important than that?
 
Kindness really counts. The next time you meet a stranger, treat him or her kindly and make it a wonderful new day—a new day with Jesus!

                                                                                                               --Jean Boonstra

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