Do you know of someone who is really kind? My dad was known for his kindness. Throughout his life he helped others. He thought of others first. D’Wayne Eldridge loved Jesus. Not just that love you sing about in church, but that deep, intimate, relational kind of love that most of us spend our lives looking for. His life exemplified his devotion to Jesus. He was known throughout his community for his kind spirit, demonstrated by the repairs, yard work, and odd jobs he performed without charge for widows and many others. Always putting others before himself, he was the consummate servant leader.
He served his church in many volunteer capacities, including deacon, usher, and video camera operator. He helped fix and maintain equipment around the church, and he was a strong supporter of mission programs. At 74 years of age, he was still replacing 600 air-handling filters in the church, twice a year. This service required getting up and down a ladder throughout a huge building and going on top of the roof.
He was often the first person his Sunday School members would call when they were sick or needed help. He sat in hospital waiting rooms while members were in surgery. He visited the sick and helped members’ families make funeral arrangements. When a class member needed house repairs, or a flowerbed cleaned out, he was there. Kevin Compton wrote,
“I will never forget how you reached out to me as a struggling, young, cold college student who thought the world would be better if I was a mechanic. Turns out I was wrong — but you hung right with me, fixed my goofs (many times) and kept smiling. Your warmth to me was more than just a heated garage. Thanks for your kindness, support and friendship! You are one-in-a-million.”
I always wondered how my dad learned to be sensitive to the needs of others. As a young adult, D’Wayne briefly worked as a welder’s helper. Much like a surgical nurse, his job was to anticipate what the welder needed and provide that resource. Many believers say they want to do something significant for God. His life is a testimony that by serving others, being kind to everyone you meet, you can make a difference in the world.
Please share your stories of kind people with me.