Thank God for hospitable friends,
For hot showers and soap.
For home cooked meals.
For kindness.

I love being reminded of goodness. Kindness.
I love receiving it.
It always does something to me that is unspeakable.

I am at a friend’s house, and I’m reading Kisses from Katie, a book left on the shelf.
It’s the faint sound of a beautiful melody, singing of a young girl’s love for Jesus and compassion for the hurting.

Our 70-year-old friend Pat had given us the book. Pat, too, had offered years of her life to serve the needy in Pakistan.

We’ve been seeing in Matthew at Bible study how Jesus had compassion on the desperate – he saw their desperation, humility and faith. He saw beyond their superficial need.

The other story that moved me recently was in a film called The Emperors’ Club. A friend had urged me to watch it.

Often, I hear the weariness and cynicism of those who have found that virtue does not get one far in a cutthroat world.

Valuing a higher good sometimes leads to getting robbed of one’s ambitions and offering up a sacrifice.

But that is a very precious thing.
The teacher in the film embodied it – and walked both the disappointment and the John 12:24 multiplying joy of a dying grain of wheat.