“It rough out there!” This was the way one of the mothers in Trench Town described this time during the Covid crisis. Uncertainty about work, fears about sending children back to school, anxiety about increasing case numbers, fears of people turning to crime in their desperation … these are all weighing on people’s minds.

This is the setting that we were able to do our back to school outreach last Sunday, the most generous one we have been able to do yet. The video below tells more of the story.

Parents and children alike were receptive to prayers of blessing over them, and the kindness and patience of the team towards each person they talked to was a joy to see.

This got me reflecting about kindness, which is a value that our world doesn’t seem to cherish highly, because kindness is weakness if we are only conscious that it is “rough out there”. “Be kind to one another” is a phrase from Ephesians 4:31, and the reason given for doing this is simply God’s kindness to us. Two verses later the command is to “live in love”, and the reason given for doing this is that we are loved.

If we could ever grasp God’s kindness, if we could ever grasp that we are His beloved children; being kind to one another and living in love would be a completely natural way to live. Thankfully, part of us can grasp this, and when we do we can point others to look in the same direction, to the one who “loved us and gave Himself for us”. Through Him we see that there is more to the world than just the roughness.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us … ” Eph 4:31 – 5:2