#MarriagePrayers: Acts 28:2

#MarriagePrayers || 31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage || Teri Lynne & Scott Underwood

#MarriagePrayers || 31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage || Teri Lynne & Scott Underwood

The native people showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold. — Acts 28:2

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Sandwiched in between two very bad experiences we find this mention of being shown unusual kindness.

Just prior to this display, Paul finds himself shipwrecked. Following the unusual kindness,  Paul finds himself in the midst of my own personal nightmare — being snake bit. It reads like a scene from a Three Stooges skit or one of Captain Jack Sparrow’s escapades.

Paul is welcomed by this group of people. In the ESV, the word used to describe them is “native,” but other versions th these people as barbarous. Basically it means these were people who didn’t speak Greek. They were pagans.

After they welcome him they build a fire. Paul, wanting to help, picks up some sticks to throw on the fire. Obviously he didn’t plan on one of those sticks being a snake which would come out of the heat and bite him on the hand.

As Paul is doing his best Curly shuffle with a snake attached to the end his hand, the natives have decided he is a murder because obviously “bad things happen to bad people.”  They wait on him to die or swell up from the bite. Instead, Paul lives on which can only mean one thing — he must be a god!

Paul finds himself at the home who of Publius, the big wig on the island {I picture King Julius from the Madagascar movies}. For three days they entertain and take care of Paul. Meanwhile down the hall, Publius’ dad can’t leave the “throne room” as he is laid up with a horrible, yet deadly, case of the stomach bug, fever, and dysntery. Paul goes to him, puts his hand upon him, and heals him.

This was a big deal. He touched a very sick man. Scott Underwood would have wanted to offer up a prayer from another room but Paul repayed unusual kindness with unusual kindness. When others heard about it they came to Paul to be healed as well. They may have had selfish motives but Paul still showed kindness. We never really know if Paul preached in an official manner on the island but we do know that he lived his life in a way that drew others to take notice.

Receiving Unusual Kindness

Several years ago I found myself  the lone staff member at a church many miles way from home. We had only been there three months when the pastor left to serve a new church, leaving me feeling a bit shipwrecked.

One night Teri Lynne and I had invited a couple to our home who had been visiting our church during that time we were without a pastor. As they shared their story the husband mentioned he had recently turned his life around — while he was in jail. My heart sank.  I had to follow up with “Why were you in jail?” I shouldn’t have asked. When his response was, “Murder, but they couldn’t get a conviction,” I immediately wanted to hide my wife and child. I didn’t.  I instead chose to listen. He was trusting me with his truth, slowly inviting me into his life. He was showing me kindness.

For a season of life they were some of our closest friends. We vacationed together, spent weekends together, kept each other’s kids, and basically did life together.

Shortly after that first meeting in my living room, my new friend said he wanted to take us to his favorite steakhouse. We lined up the baby sitters and headed out. I had no idea what to expect but it wasn’t the very high end hotel in an exclusive downtown area on the river.

We walked into a beautiful dining area complete with white linen table clothes, candlelight and a gorgeous view of this downtown river area. This was not a backcountry hole-in-the-wall steakhouse. As I looked at the menu my heart sank. I realized this meal could easily reach the $150 mark. Many things came to my mind. What bills can we put off? Do we really need groceries for the rest of the month? How many cards can I use to pay? How can I tell Teri Lynne to just order a side salad and water without being too obvious?

Then it happened. I received unusual kindness from an unusual source. This man who had served time in jail while on trial for murder leaned over to me and said, “Order whatever you want, it’s on me.” I was both relieved and humbled.

When I reflect on these two stories I find a few important lessons {because Paul and I are basically the same 🙂 } — 

Sometimes the greatest displays of kindness come from unusual sources.
Always put yourself in a place where people find you approachable and desire to show you kindness.
Always keep your eyes open to kindness despite what other circumstances may be going on around you.
Unusual kindness begats unusual kindness.
And, of utmost importance. always be sure to check the woodpile for snakes because they are evil.

~ Scott

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Today’s Prayer

Father, Keep us from building walls up that may keep people at a distance. May we be welcoming to those who don’t look like, smell like, act like, or believe like we do. May we strive to show unusual kindness to one another that overflows from the love we have for each other and our love for you. And as we do, may our unusual kindness attract others and make our home a welcoming environment. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Father, Keep us from building walls up that may keep people at a distance. May we be welcoming to those who don’t look like, smell like, act like, or believe like we do. May we strive to show unusual kindness to one another that overflows from the love we have for each other and our love for you. And as we do, may our unusual kindness attract others and make our home a welcoming environment. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

#MarriagePrayers: May our unusual kindness attract others. (Acts 28:2) Click To Tweet

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Thank you for joining us for #MarriagePrayers: 31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage.  Scott and I will be sharing a new verse and prayer every day throughout May, leading up to our 20th anniversary on June 1.  You can find every day’s post indexed here.  We pray you will be encouraged and challenged as you pray God’s Word for your marriage.

Father, Keep us from building walls up that may keep people at a distance. May we be welcoming to those who don’t look like, smell like, act like, or believe like we do. May we strive to show unusual kindness to one another that overflows from the love we have for each other and our love for you. And as we do, may our unusual kindness attract others and make our home a welcoming environment. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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