Kindness Melts Bitterness
AN ELDERLY lady was particularly unfriendly when George and Manon, two Witnesses in the Netherlands, approached her with the good news of the Kingdom. They learned that she had lost two husbands and a son in death and she was suffering from severe arthritis. Though she calmed down somewhat during the conversation, she never became really friendly.
George, however, suggested to Manon that they return with a bouquet of flowers for the lady because she seemed so lonely and bitter. When they did, the householder, Rie, was pleasantly surprised. It was an inconvenient time for her, though, so an appointment was made for a later date. When George and Manon returned at the arranged time, no one answered the door. Although they tried at different times, they did not find her again. They even began to think that she was avoiding them.
One day, George finally found Rie at home. She apologized for not keeping the appointment and explained that she had been in the hospital. “But you’ll never guess what I did after you two left,” she said. “I started reading the Bible!” A pleasant discussion ensued, and a Bible study was started.
As Rie studied the Bible, she was transformed from an embittered person into a happy, kind lady. Though housebound, she immediately began to share her newfound faith with anyone visiting her. Her health did not allow her to attend congregation meetings very often, yet she delighted in having brothers and sisters visit her. On the day she turned 82, she attended a circuit assembly and was baptized in symbol of her dedication to God.
After her death just a few months later, a poem that she had written was found. In it, she described the misery of loneliness in old age and stressed the importance of kindness. “Reading that poem really touched me,” says Manon, “and I am so happy that Jehovah helped us to show kindness to her.”
Yes, Jehovah’s personal example prompts us to show such love and kindness. (Eph. 5:1, 2) Our ministry will be fruitful as we “recommend ourselves as God’s ministers . . . by kindness.”—2 Cor. 6:4, 6.