Small Acts of Kindness
The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, “When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she shall live.” But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live. (Exodus 1:15-17)
The story of Exodus began with a few women on the scene: Shiphrah and Puah (two midwives), Jochebed (Moses’ mother), Miriam (Moses’ sister), and Pharaoh’s daughter. Their stories helped change the fate of the Israelites in Egypt. Each did something they believed within them and with their own power and risk, and in fear of God. The midwives disobeyed the order of Pharaoh to save lives. Jochebed hid Moses for three months. Miriam helped make the connection between Pharaoh’s daughter and her mother to raise up Moses. What they did is seemingly small and unimportant, but together they helped save the Israelites. The verdict of Pharaoh failed to overcome these small acts of a few women.
Their acts helped save Moses who would become the liberator of the Israelites from slavery and death and who would bring the Israelites to the promised land. These small acts helped change the future of the Israelites and gave them an identity as a nation. These women took upon themselves these acts to resist someone powerful or something unjust, inhuman or evil in order to change something they hoped and cared about, for good. The small act of Rosa Park who refused to move from her seat, for example, led the Supreme Court to declare bus segregation unconstitutional. Any small act that is done with love, justice, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, righteousness, goodness, forgiveness, generosity, peace, humility, respect, and the like, can make a big difference in someone’s life.
In the larger scope, this means small things we do each day can be a powerful force for the transformation of our world and our church. We may not know now, but the small thing we do today may impact the change of tomorrow. As Paul said, “So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.” (Galatians 6:9-10)
Merciful and Almighty God, you are God of all people and all races and ethnicities. You love and care for every soul whom you have formed into living creatures. Help us to serve one another and to take the opportunity do something good every day, great or small, for someone and for your church, that your name may be glorified, today, tomorrow and forever. Amen.