Joe McKeever is a godly, seasoned Southern Baptist preacher who writes a blog for pastors. I always enjoy his insights because he doesn't write from an ivory tower. He's pastured for over 60 years! Recently he related the following story about a good friend of his that is worth repeating.
When I was a kid, my mom liked to make breakfast for dinner every now and then. I remember one night in particular when she had had a long hard day at work, then did the breakfast thing for us. Dad and I were seated at the table when she brought in plates of scrambled eggs, sausage patties, and some extremely burnt biscuits.
This was so unlike my mom.
I sat there waiting to see if Dad noticed or would say anything. Yet, all he did was to reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom, and ask how my day went at school. I don't recall what I told him, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite!
Later, I heard Mom apologize to Dad for burning the biscuits. I'll never forget what he said.
"Honey, I love burned biscuits."
"That night when I went in to kiss Daddy good night, I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Your mama put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired."
"Besides," he said, "a little burnt biscuit never hurt anyone."
We all need God to give us the grace to speak words of kindness to those we love but who, for any of a thousand reasons, may have done a thing poorly. The grace to speak with patience and understanding to someone who is having a hard day. To extend kindness to one who is tired and doing the best he/she can and finding it not enough is not asking a lot.
Admittedly, it's not our first impulse. It is, however, the Christlike thing to do.
"Oh, Lord, help us to season our conversation with grace. To speak with kindness to those who disappoint us. To show the love and gentleness of Christ during those times when our flesh wants to react with sarcasm and selfishness. For Jesus' sake. Amen."