Being Kind To Strangers

Monday, October 16, 2023
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "All Creatures Of Our God And King"1 (Lyrics)

Galatians 6:10 – Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (NIV)

Easter Sunday, March 30, 1997, is a day that I have never forgotten. I was looking for a new church home. A friend recommended a church to me, and I was not disappointed after attending my first service. The interim pastor on that Easter Sunday was the Rev. Dr. Stephen Farris, and he delivered an excellent sermon. After the service, my plan was to make a fast exit. On leaving the sanctuary, I felt a light touch on my left elbow. Looking down toward the touch, my eyes looked straight into the welcoming, bright eyes of a short, elderly lady, later introduced as Caroline, who smiled up at me and said, "Welcome!" Then, she gently ushered me into the Christian Education Hall, and presented me to almost everyone who had attended the service on that Sunday morning. Remembering the warm and genuine welcome from so many people was lovely. Caroline was one of the women elders in the church. On that joyful Easter Sunday morning, Caroline showed me, a stranger and a first-time visitor, much kindness. Easter Sunday also represented the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ three days after His death on the cross. In Hebrews 13:2, we are reminded, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." (NIV)

Caroline went home to be with the Lord almost a decade ago, and I have never forgotten her. Because of her kindness to me on that Easter Sunday morning almost three decades ago, I still attend the same church. My roots are now firmly established in that church — now my home church — and I have no intention of going elsewhere — well, not until the day that I go to be with our Saviour for eternity.

Showing a little kindness can make a big difference in another person's life. There are numerous Bible verses written about kindness. Jesus is the expert at showing kindness, compassion, and love. His golden rule is "In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:12 NIV)

Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (NIV)

Jeremiah 9:24 – "But let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the Lord. (NIV)

Charity begins at home. Being kind to our family members and our friends is what the Lord empowers us to do. Being kind to strangers is a positive action that the Lord values deeply.

How will you respond to the next stranger who happens to be in your midst? Maybe it starts with a kind, welcoming smile. This could be the start of something wonderful!

Prayer: Our gracious and generous God, help us to reach out to others in a positive way and to be supportive and kind to each other as we continue to grow in love and compassion. Amen.

Forward this devotional     Share this devotional on Facebook     Like PresbyCan on Facebook

About the author:

Yvonne Myers <>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Send your feedback to the author

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    A real heart warmer Yvonne. Blessings.

    Thanks for the words of encouragement, Yvonne.

    Great post and reminder to us all, Yvonne! God bless!

    Amen! Thank you! A very precious true story to be taken very seriously.

    Thank you, Yvonne. We never know how our actions affect others, do we?

    Thank you for sharing this timely reminder to be more welcoming to newcomers. Blessings.

    Toronto is a multicultural/language home to many, and a smile is often the only way I can communicate with my neighbors.

    Thank you, Yvonne, for today’s devotion.
    I enjoyed it very much.

    Thank you for sharing your insight on kindness and the wonderful story of Caroline. What an encouragement it is to all of us to be NICE. Keep writing and keep sharing.

    How great is this? The PCC church I used to go to had Stephen help is with a call. He preached so well…memorable!
    Thanks for the memories!

    Thank you, Yvonne, for your important words today. Our world truly needs more people that reach out with kindness, especially these days. It was enjoyable to read about the experience you had when you started attending a new church as I had a very similar happening and know how important it is to show a friendly welcome to others. Blessings for this special writing.

    Would that the world would be full of “Carolines.” Thank you for this reminder. Our church is so small in number that noticing visitors is not hard! We live in rural Central Texas and it is unusual to find a Presbyterian Church in such a setting. We are the only Presbyterian Church in our county.
    Your writing is appreciated.

    Thank you, Yvonne, for this encouraging devotional. It is so important to be welcoming to strangers, in church, in our homes, and in our places of work.
    I am Stephen Farris’s wife so I shared your beautiful devotional with him. We were both trying to guess what church you were referring to in your writing. Stephen was interim minister at many churches when we lived in Toronto.
    May God bless you as you continue to welcome newcomers to your church.

    It was a joy to meet this particular lady almost two decades before, when she was a Commissioner to General Assembly, and I was one of the Youth Reps. There I learned she was the wife of a minister and a former Overseas Missionary!
    By the time I arrived in this congregation, she was in the process of “retiring” from WMS, where she was also a leader, and the Session, where had served so ably.
    A great example – to God be the Glory!

    Dear Yvonne,
    Thank you so much for sharing this. Isn’t it blessingly wonderful when things work out like that. I had almost the same thing happen to me, when I wandered in off the street, into a Presbyterian church. The Session Clerk unknowingly blocked the aisle, preventing me leaving (and also preventing my suicide). It was a long haul back, but that was the first step back toward life.
    Every blessing.

    Good morning, Yvonne,
    A wonderful story of your introduction to your church and what you learned that Easter Sunday. Jesus heard your prayers and answered them in an amazing way. You were led to where you belonged in such a large city.
    This is definitely a message that is worth repeating many times. It is not so easy to reach out to others. Our Holy Spirit is there to nudge us to do our part and support us once we have stepped out of our comfort zone.
    Thanks for the good message of sharing our love.
    I want to thank PresbyCan for enlarging the print of the devotionals. I really find it easier reading on the eyes. Thank you.
    May you have a blessed day and many chances to reach out and share. Blessings.

    Thanks for writing this.
    Unfortunately, Jesus’ love commands are often used to justify acceptance of sin within the church. We seem to forget the awful end waiting for those who pervert God’s word within the church to get what they want instead of what God says he desires. Discipline is often passed by because it doesn’t seem loving but correcting a brother or sister is the truly loving response.
    “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” James‬ ‭5:19-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Previous Post
Next Post

PresbyCan is a community of faithful, Holy Spirit-filled, Christ-centred, God-honouring Christians.