Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. —1 JOHN 4:7
It was two days before Christmas. I was helping my wife take care of holiday details when I noticed a van parked in front of our house. I watched as the driver got out—it was my friend Joe Warner. As Joe proceeded to the back of his van, I knew what was about to happen, because it has happened every Christmas for the last several years. He pulled out a box filled with the best, sweetest oranges and walked toward our house. His halting gait reminded me of the injury he suffered in World War II.
I opened the front door before Joe rang the bell, and I welcomed him inside. "Merry Christmas!" he said as he set the box of oranges on the floor. After I thanked him for remembering us with this kindness, I asked about his family and he asked about mine. We said our good-byes and he was gone.
As I watched Joe walk back to the van, I experienced a strong sense of gratitude for a friend who, in his eighties, continues to do such acts of kindness. Joe's kindness was not a matter of responding to human need—he knew I could buy my own oranges. It was pure love shown in a small but significant way.
I believe God delights in such gentle kindnesses. And every Christmas, Joe Warner gives me a new opportunity to catch a glimpse of Christ's love in a box of oranges.
Father, thank you for the people in my life who show me kindness in simple ways.
Dr. Gary Chapman is the beloved best-selling author of The Five Love Languages and Love as a Way of Life. For more information, click here.