One evening during rush hour, a man named Bruce Larson was running to get in line for a bus. Suddenly a woman shoved in ahead of him. She almost knocked him to the ground.
In mock apology Larson said to her, “Pardon me! I didn’t mean to smash into you like that.” The woman’s reaction to Larson’s insincere remark was amazing. She really thought he meant it. “I’m so sorry,” she said. “How can you be so kind to me after I was so terribly rude to you?”
Now it was Larson’s turn to be confused. He didn’t know what to say. The woman had responded to his counterfeit kindness as if it were real. Larson mumbled something like, “It doesn’t hurt to be nice to people.”
Bruce Larson began to see that responding with kindness to someone who has done wrong benefits both parties more than a negative response. When we respond with kindness, we release kindness where it is needed most. We stop the chain reaction of wrongdoing and replace it with a chain reaction of kindness.
Jesus tells us in today’s gospel not to judge others who have sinned. We hear Jesus say, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Jesus is teaching us to replace sin with kindness.
Sincerely in Christ,