Kindness in Action

It is easy to talk kindness, but kindness is more than talk. By its nature it calls for expression, demonstration, or some tangible form of action. As a result of last week's Ministerial Weekly entitled "The Gift of Kindness," Brother Colyn Major, an elder of the Johnson Park Church, felt impressed to share his experience with someone to whom he was kind. Formerly the Vice President for Student Affairs at The College of The Bahamas, Brother Major currently serves as a College Counselor at COB. Now, I pass on to you the account of his experience as an extension of last week's article.

Brother Major related that recently he had the opportunity to be kind to a young lady who was assisting him with the purchase of a product in the hardware store where she worked. As she was explaining the product, he wondered whether she was a college student. She appeared to be someone who recently completed secondary education, so he asked her if she was a student at The College of The Bahamas. She said that she was not a COB student but that she was currently enrolled at Galilee College pursuing a degree in accounting.

He observed that based on his experience as a College Counselor and Administrator, The College of The Bahamas is usually the institution of choice for students wishing to pursue higher education in The Bahamas. Students tended to enroll in other colleges when they did not have the entrance requirements to get into COB. However, this was not the case for this young lady.

As the conversation continued, she informed him that she had successfully passed Five (5) BGSCE courses, including English and Math, with "B" grades in each subject. He congratulated her on her achievements and asked why she hadn't applied and enrolled in COB. With a look of sadness in her eyes, she replied that she couldn't afford it. She explained that the courses at COB are priced at $100.00 per credit, while at Galilee they are $50.00 per credit, which she could afford. He wondered if she knew that the Bahamas Government gave Bursaries to students with 5 BGCSE passes that include Math and English with "C" grades or higher. She was aware that this was done in the past but had heard that it was discontinued. He assured her that it was still available to those who qualify and meet the application deadline.

In speaking with her, he could tell that she was an intelligent young lady, ambitious, and determined to rise above her circumstances. He knew she would do well at COB if given an opportunity. He told her that the deadline for Fall applications for COB was sometime this month (February), but it might have already passed. Nevertheless, he encouraged her to put in an application for Fall 2012 admission and to also apply for the Bursary before this year's deadline (May 2012). He gave her his telephone number and the name of the contact person for bursaries at the Ministry of Education. At this, her eyes lit up. She became excited and hopeful. She promised to apply for both COB and the Bursary on her day off. Then, with an element of joy and pride, she informed him that she had all the copies of her BJC and BGCSE certificates as well as her high school diploma; for she kept them in a safe place.

Brother Major remarked that deep down inside he felt that this young girl was destined to be more than a sales clerk. Her current job was just a stepping-stone to a brighter future. He asked her why she was working. She revealed that she had to work to pay her school fees and to take care of her ten-month old baby who was in hospital for a surgery to remove a hernia in his navel. She stated that she had to pick him up the following day, but she might have to wait because she did not have the money to get his medicine for the aftercare when she brought him home from the hospital.

It was at this point that he knew why the Holy Spirit led him to this store, not to look for a product but to meet this young lady, to demonstrate “kindness,” to offer her a “glimmer of hope,” to assist her with getting into COB, but more importantly, to meet her immediate need. She had no idea where it was coming from, but she desperately needed $30.00 to get medical help for her baby. This was an example of the "unexpected kindness" spoken about in last week's Ministerial Weekly. Brother Major mentioned that he was so glad that he allowed the Lord to have control of his life. He felt that the Lord led him to this "Samaritan young woman" whom he met at the “well” to offer her “life giving water” ($30.00 for medicine) for her baby, and to point her to another source of supply for college so she could realize and live her dreams.

Here was a young girl, out of high school for not more than a year, who got pregnant and had a child; but chose to get a job so she could further her education and take care of her ten-month old infant. Brother Major said that he was never tempted to “throw a stone at her,” never thought that she was a terrible person for having a child out of wedlock. He only saw a child of God who like all of us, at some time or another, made some poor choices but who did not stay down. She chose to rise above her situation, accept responsibility for her actions and move on with her life.

Brother Major confessed that he prays daily for “the fruit” of the Spirit. And he stated that he has discovered that God uses people and situations to shape us and mold us and to develop “the fruit”. He believes that when God’s Spirit is evident in our lives, He will lead us to not only see others through the “eyes of Jesus” but to also relieve human suffering when we meet it. He says that we are God’s hands and feet. Therefore, instead of being judgmental, we will demonstrate kindness and compassion. He acknowledged that he did not show kindness by himself. It was the Holy Spirit “living in” him and “working through” him, producing the fruit of “kindness.” He concluded by saying, “Today, someone got a ‘glimpse of Jesus’ through me.”

That is Colyn's story! I am sure that you have yours. Let's spread acts of kindness daily.