Victimized Cosette alone in the dark woods is swiftly rescued by the all-powerful hand of kindness.
Story book examples of the hero stepping in to save the damsel from the villian make up the basis of the hopes and dreams written on our hearts. The stories we love just take the paradigm and perhaps reassign the roles. The “miracle” of Christmas is the simple and fundamental truth that resonates so perfectly and leads us to create more stories with our minds and hearts and words and hands. We make His praise glorious when we work in concert with this truth, even when we say we don’t know Him.
Sometimes the ideal examples such as that found here in Chapter 5, or those I hear of in sermons, can discourage me. Such perfect, effective kindness is uncommon to my perception, and my attempts to love rescue someone can seem more like strikeouts than homers. So I want to hear that I am OK in the strikeouts because I am standing at the plate swinging. And, that my perception of the success of my efforts is usually highly distorted.
Yesterday I received a letter from a man thanking me for being a good leader and making it possible for him to finish his career by enjoying his work. It was a surprise, even a shock for me since I perceived the perception of my efforts might be that they were shallow and full of pretense. But it turns out that the perception was not that at all. People may not react like I hope for when I show kindness. They may even carry away the candlesticks and continue in their criminal attitude like JVJ. But as imperfect as my attempts may be (even shaded by pride and pretense) they are more effective than I perceive, and seeing the few instances that are actually revealed to me, I imagine that my my batting average is higher than I perceive.