Beliefnet
A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith

Aren’t we all walking a strict tight rope regarding kindness.  At some tipping point, kindness can be abused and we find our greatest tender mercies have gone bad.  Today, I took a member out to supper.  Bob was a member of the Special Gathering Melbourne program for more years than I’ve been involved.  Our members are intellectually disabled.  In the 22 years I’ve known him, he missed Special Gathering no more than five times.  When he was forced to move to another town almost 40 miles from my home, he has called often asking for me to take him out to eat.

This was our third time to go out for a meal since he moved almost a year ago. He has been plugged into a closer Special Gathering. Bob participates in the choir at his new program.  When is enough, enough?  Bob is beyond stingy and he would never offer to pay for his own meal. High-functioning, Bob is not beyond taking advantage of a situation.

Therein lies my question.  When is it worst for a person for us to continue to give?  Last night as I was listening to the Psalms, the Lord said that His people were constantly taking advantage of Him.  Then after He punished them, Israel would turn back to him.

As I drove to the Adult Living Facility where Bob is now living, I had at least an hour to mull over his situation.  Was it now time to let Bob know that I would not be making any more trips to his new home?   After all, he loves the people with whom he lives.  He is happy enough with his new life that he wants to go to the sheltered workshop only two days a week.

We had our meal at MacDonald’s.  As we were heading home, I told him that we would not be able to do this again because it’s too far from my home.  It takes a long time and uses a lot of gas.  Bob looked at me with one of the most whimsical stares I’ve ever seen.  ”Have you moved?” he asked.

“No, Bob,” I continued to explain.  ”I haven’t moved.  You moved.  Now you live farther from my house and office.”

Perhaps, my good friend, Bob, still may need another visit or two.  It’s apparent that kindness has not gone bad yet.

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