Daily Encouragement: Day 260

From Handbook to Wisdom, Day 260

TREATING OTHERS WITH KINDNESS

“You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your mind.”
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like it:
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
All the Law and the Prophets hang on
these two commandments.
(Matthew 22:37–40)

I will owe nothing to anyone except to love them,
for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
For the commandments,
“You shall not commit adultery,”
“You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,”
“You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment,
it is summed up in this saying:
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love does no harm to a neighbor;
therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
(Romans 13:8–10)

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. “How much for an ice cream sundae?”

“Fifty cents,” replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it. “How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he inquired.

Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient. “Thirty-five cents,” she said brusquely.

The little boy again counted the coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table, and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier, and departed. When the waitress came back, she picked up the empty plate and then swallowed hard at what she saw. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies—her tip.

Every day we will encounter little annoyances that are opportunities in disguise. As Thomas Dubay put it in The Evidential Power of Beauty, “If people who annoy me are also God’s beloved, they must be mine as well: we are to love as he loves us (John 13:34).”