Friday, September 16, 2016

"Kindness – The Cornerstone of Recovery" by Karen Hardin, Tulsa, OK


"Lord, break my heart for what breaks Yours." That has been my prayer over and over for the last few years. My guess is it has also been yours. We want to see what He sees and feel what He feels and to know His heart. Within His heart is the cornerstone of compassion and kindness. But what if compassion and kindness have been denied by others? Has that happened to you?

A friend contacted me this morning, her heart hurt and wounded because of an injustice that had been done to her by a leader. My eyes filled with tears as I prayed regarding how He would have me respond to her.

"My heart breaks for her," I told God. "So does Mine," He responded. And I was reminded of the prayer I have been praying, "Lord break my heart for what breaks Yours..." It wasn't just my heart breaking for her, it was His heart for her, for she had been denied the simple act of kindness which would have brought recovery. When our heart breaks for what breaks His, we will be moved by compassion and kindness.

David Understood the Simple Act of Kindness

Immediately I thought of David in the Old Testament. He understood the simple act of kindness even when his mind and heart were consumed with his own matters. We see this in I Samuel 30. Everything David owned and valued had been stolen from him just days before. His wives and kids and been carried off and his possessions and everything he and his men owned had been burned. Nothing remained.

Instead of giving up in despair, David inquired of the Lord and was told he would recover all. David was in need of a recovery. With that word from the Lord, he set out. And this is where he could have missed a key component and the blessing in what lay before him. He didn't know that his recovery was contingent upon helping someone else's recovery.

As David and his 600 men set off to locate the Amalekites (those who had carried off their families) they had to cross a field. The word "field" here means an unfrequented place. It was a deserted place. And here they encountered an Egyptian slave.

David would have obviously been in a hurry. Every second mattered if he was going to get his wives and children back. He was also an important man and on a mission. It would have been easy to overlook or ignore this person who would have obviously been recognized as a slave by his dress—one considered to have less value in that day—except in God's eyes.

We are told that David was a man after God's own heart. And here is where we see he did indeed have God's heart. For in spite of his own pressing needs, he stopped to help this individual who was alone in a deserted place with no provisions. The slave would have certainly died had they not stopped for he had been left with nothing. He had been abandoned and discarded already three days in the field.

Perhaps this was a test of what was in David's heart. Would he ride right past this individual in obvious need? If they rode past the slave in this unfrequented field, they would have secured his death. There would have been no one else to come to his rescue. Add to the fact that David was emotionally compromised at that point. No one would have blamed him had he kept riding and never even noticed the slave left to die.David was a mighty man leading a host of men. Many would have considered it beneath him to spend his time with the needs of a slave. And yet, David had eyes to see and a heart of compassion—even in his own need of recovery.

Could he have known from the onset the blessing and valuable knowledge he would receive in return for his offer of kindness of food and drink to revive the slave that day? Perhaps. But probably not.

But the slave, once revived with food and water, became David's key to restoration to find his family as he led David and his army directly to the Amalekite's camp. The very thing that looked like it would cause unnecessary delay, actually became the very thing that gave them speed and advantage.

Enable Others Recovery

We never know what God will put in our path and how He can use us when we have eyes to see, not looking for what we can receive in return, but to offer the simple act of kindness to enable someone else's recovery. This is a word to you today, that just as the Lord spoke to David, "You will recover all," but the key to that recovery is connected to kindness.

Perhaps you have been one who was left abandoned in the field. Please forgive us that we did not see you. That was not the Father's heart. Perhaps you have been one, like David, called and on a mission and in the need or zeal of the moment didn't notice the one left abandoned in the field. It's time to repent and to ask God to restore your vision to once again have His eyes to see and ears to hear. For when we have the Father's heart, we can do nothing less than to notice.

I think back to my friend who had reached out to me after someone in leadership had rejected her and abandoned her when all she asked was for their counsel, prayer and help. Kindness is the key to recovery not only for the one in need of that gift, but it very well could be the key to recovery in our lives and mission as we offer compassion no matter what He places in our path.

Prayer: Lord we ask today that You would forgive us when we did not offer kindness to those You placed in our path. When we were too busy doing good things, that we missed the God thing in front of us. Lord we also choose today to forgive those who refused kindness and compassion to us in our time of need, and when we felt rejected and abandoned in the field, overlooked and unvalued. We understand that is never Your heart. Give us your heart today. Break our heart for what breaks Yours. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear so that we can extend kindness in other people's journey to recovery to become part of your process of redemption, reconciliation and restoration.

Karen Hardin
PriorityPR Group & Literary Agency


Karen Hardin is an author, minister and literary agent. She is called to exhort, encourage and help raise up the remnant. She desires to empower those who have grown weary so they can reposition to walk in identity and destiny. Her work has appeared in "USA Today," "World Net Daily," "Outlook Magazine," "Charisma," "," and more. Karen has a passion to help others reach their highest potential and achieve their dreams with the message God has given them. She and her husband, Kevin, make their home in Oklahoma along with their three kids.


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