In 1975, Raymond Dunn was born with a skull fracture and oxygen deprivation that caused severe intellectual disabilities. As Raymond grew, the family discovered further medical complications. His body suffered up to 20 seizures per day. He was also blind, mute, and virtually immobile.
Raymond had severe allergies. After numerous attempts to find something he could digest, his mother and doctors found one and only one food. It was a meat-based formula made by Gerber Foods. But in 1985, Gerber stopped making the formula that Raymond thrived on.
Carol Dunn scoured the country to buy up what stores had in stock. She accumulated cases and cases of it. But in 1990, her supply ran out.
When some Gerber employees were given the news, they responded. Many of them donated hundreds of hours to bring out old equipment, set up a production line, obtain special approval from the USDA, and produce the formula – all for one special boy.
In January 1995, Raymond Dunn, known as the "Gerber Boy," passed away. But during his brief lifetime, he inspired a surprising level of kindness.
Kindness is rooted in God's love.
I'm posting this on November 11, 2022, and this Sunday is "World Kindness Day." Most of the world will miss this, but we know that kindness is rooted in God's love. In 1 Corinthians 13:4, Paul begins his definition of true love by telling us that "Love is patient and kind; . . ."
What makes kindness unique above other attributes of love is that it requires active engagement. You might keep your distance and limit contact if you struggle with a particular relationship. If you can avoid that person, you can prevent a conflict.
But love, as God defines it, is much more than a lack of conflict. Kindness doesn't work from a distance. Kindness is something you demonstrate. Kindness requires involvement, not avoidance.
Kindness is not for the weak at heart!
The early church knew what it meant to demonstrate kindness. In the second century, unbelievers were surprised by the kindness of Christians toward people who rejected them. They were so surprised that they came up with a new nickname. They often changed one Greek letter, turning "Christiani" (followers of Christ) to "Chrestiani" (made up of kindness).
Do we surprise anybody today with our kindness? Is the world amazed by the demonstration of kindness in our lives?
On this World Kindness Day, I encourage you to surrender anew to God so that you can demonstrate to your world - which has cameras ready - the kindness of God. When you do, you become a unique, irrefutable picture of God-like, Christ-honoring, genuine true love.