What Calvin Taught Me About Kindness

Once while on a road trip, I got up in the morning only to discover that my car would start but would not idle; every time I stopped revving the engine, it died. As my knowledge of cars stops at checking fluids and changing tires and the oil, I knew there wasn’t a thing I could do about it but call for help. I was at a state park in western Oklahoma at the time. As I walked to the ranger’s station, I dreaded the inevitable towing and repair bill which I was sure would be astronomical given both my location and my out of state tags.

The ranger kindly let me use his phone and phonebook, but warned me, “Just don’t call Calvin’s” adding, “I wouldn’t take a sick dog to Calvin’s.” This seemed like an easy enough task – there wasn’t a towing company listed called “Calvin’s.” I called a couple of places, and the second one agreed to come and tow my car for repair.

The tow truck driver arrived, had a look at the car, and said that it would have to be towed. He told me to go ahead and get in the cab while he hooked up the car. I got into the cab and noticed the dreaded words on his clipboard: “Tow to Calvin’s.” My heart began to race. As he climbed into the cab, I was just about to protest our destination when I happened to look at his shirt. He was wearing one of those sown on name tags that mechanics tend to wear. I could not believe my eyes: it was Calvin!

For the next thirty minutes, I did everything I possibly could to show Calvin that I was a likable guy who was genuinely interested in him. I listened with rapt attention to every answer he gave to my many questions about his family, life, career, inserting compliments and kind words wherever I could squeeze them in. As we pulled into Calvin’s, a junk yard in the middle of nowhere, I said silent prayers and got out of the cab.

Before Calvin could get to my car, a man pulled up with his friend to inspect his SUV that had been towed there a couple of days ago. The man had been in an accident, and while his SUV might not have been drivable again (the front axle was broken), it was almost brand new and no doubt had many valuable parts. The engine looked undamaged, and it had new relatively new tires. As Calvin explained the damage, he concluded by saying, “With the towing and storage fees, you’re better off just giving it to me.” I had never heard a mechanic say that before. My heart sank, and I wondered if that’s how my dealings with Calvin would end.

Calvin began to have a look at my car, hooking it up to the computer to see what was going on. He stated that it was hard to tell from the readout what the problem was, saying, “It could be anything.” He then said, “Hold on a sec,” and took a wrench out of his toolset. After a couple of quick taps on a small cylinder mounted above the engine, he climbed into the car and the unbelievable happened: the car started up like it had never had a problem. Apparently, a piece of carbon had gotten lodged at a critical point and needed only to be shaken loose. Calvin charged me fifty dollars for the time and towing and sent me on my more than merry way. It was the happiest I’d ever been to part with fifty dollars.

While I have no way of knowing for sure, I attribute the outcome of this situation both to the grace of God and to my actions during that ride over to Calvin’s. Had I been surly or silent, I have little doubt the outcome would have been different.

Upon reflection, I’m more than a little ashamed to admit that the things I did only for Calvin’s sake are the things that I should always be doing for Christ’s sake. The way I responded out of desperation is actually the way commanded by Inspiration.

What if we always seasoned our speech with salt (Colossians 4:6)? What if we were always more concerned with others interests than our own (Philippians 2:4)? What if we learned to do all things (or, as is often the case, get through all things) without murmuring and complaining (Philippians 2:14)? What if we would truly “put on... kindness” as we are commanded (Colossians 3:12)? Not only might our outcomes with the Calvin’s of this world be improved, but it also might just open a door to save a soul. At the very least, I’m sure we would always find that kindness truly pays.  






1 Corinthians 12 1 Corinthians 14:15 1 Corinthians 14 1 Corinthians 16:1-4 1 Corinthians 7 1 Peter 1:6-12 1 Peter 2:9 1 Peter 3 1 Peter 5:6-7 1 Peter 1 Samuel 4 1 Thessalonians 5:18 1 Timothy 4:1-3 2 Corinthians 6 2 John 1:9 2 John 9 2 Kings 2 Peter 2 2 Peter 3 2 Peter 2 Samuel Abel Abraham Absalom Acts 17 Acts 19 Acts 2 Acts 8 Acts Alcohol Alleged Contradictions Apostles Ark of the Covenant Attitude Authority Autonomy Autumn Balance Baptismal Regeneration Baptism Barnabas Benevolence Bible Contradictions Bible Questions and Answers Bible Study Bible Biblical Interpretation Bishop Body of Christ Borrowing Broad Way Cain and Abel Cain Calvinism Catholicism Catholic Celibacy Challenges Children Christian Living Christmas Church Funds Church Leadership Church Membership Church of Christ Church Circumspection Citations Citizenship Colossians 3:16 Communication Communion Community Confidence Congregations Contend for the Faith Contentment Covetousness Creation Credit Current Events Dating David Debt Forgivness Deconstruction Degrees of Punishment Deity Deliverance Denominationalism Devil Difference Different Discipleship Divine Nature Doctrine Dragon Drinking Easter Ecclesiastes 7:10 Ecclesia Eldership Elders Elder Elijah Elisha Encouragement Enoch Ephesians 2:8-9 Ephesians 5:15 Ephesians 5:16 Ephesians 5:18 Ephesians 5:19 Ephesians 5:5 Ephesians 5 Esther 4:14 Evangelism Ezekiel 36 Ezekiel 6 Faith Alone Faith Only Faithfulness Faith Fall False Teachers False Teaching Fathers Fear Feeding of the 5000 Fornication Free Will Fundamentals Galatians 4:9-10 Gender Roles Generosity Genesis 22 Genesis 4 Genesis Gift of Tongues Gifts Giving Godhead Godhood God Gospel Meeting Gospel Grace Gratitude Greater Sin Greed Grief Grieving Hallelujah Praise Jehovah Hallelujah Hebrews 13:4 Help Hermeneutics Holidays Holy Spirit's Deity Husbands Hymns Hypotheticals Idolatry Imperatives Influence Insomnia Instrumental Music Instruments in Worship Intertextuality Isaac Isaiah 2 Isaiah 6 James 1:19 James 1:27 James 1 James Jehovah Witnesses Jehovah Jerome Jesus Temptation Jesus' Deity Jesus\' Deity Jesus Job John 11 John 19:11 John 4:24 John Calvin John the Baptist Jude 1:11 Jude 3 Jude Judgement Judging Judgment Kindness Lamb of God Lamech Lazarus Leadership Leaven Lemuel Lending Levites Limited Atonement Living Sacrifice Local Church Lord's Supper Luke 1:28 Luke 5:1-11 Mariolatry Mark 1:12-13 Mark Marriage Martin Luther Mary Matthew 5:13-16 Matthew 5:3-12 Matthew 5 Matthew 7:13-14 Matthew 7:1 Melchizedek Men's Business Meeting Men\'s Business Meeting Men\\\'s Business Meeting Men Metaphors Minor Prophets Miracles Miraculous Gifts Money Mormonism Mothers Mount of Olives Mountain of the Lord's House Mountains of Israel Mountains Murder Music Mutual Submission Narrow Gate Narrow Way No Elders Non-Denominational Olive Trees Olives Olivet Olive Once Saved Always Saved Parenting Pastor Patience Patriarchs Pattern Paul Peace Pentecostalism Persecution Perseverence Perspective Philippians 3:20 Philippians 4:6 Plagiarism Poetic Language Politics Prayer Praying to Saints Praying Pray Preacher Preaching Priesthood Priests Proverbs 31:6 Proverbs Providence Psalm 148 Quotations Reader Response Redeeming the Time Relationships Relationship Religion Religious Pluralism Religious Syncretism Remission of Sins Restoration Movement Restoration Revelation 12:9 Riches Roman Catholic Church Romans 12:1-8 Romans 12:10 Romans 12:15 Romans 12:1 Romans 12 Sacrifice Saints Only Salvation Satan Scarecrows Sermon on the Mount Serving Others Sexual Sin Silence of the Scriptures Singing Sin Sleep Sobriety Song Studies Sons Sovereignty of God Spending Spirit and Truth Spiritual Death Spiritual Gifts Spiritual Leadership Stephen Straight Gate Stress Student Debt Submission Suffering Temptations Thankfulness The Beatitudes The Problem of Pain and Suffering The Problem of Suffering The Way of Cain The Way Tongue Speaking Total Hereditary Depravity Tradition Trials Trinity Types and Antitypes Uncleanness Unconditional Election Understanding Unity Unknown Tongue Vulgate Wealth Wide Gate William Kirkpatrick Wives Women in the Church Women's Roles Word Study Work Worship Zechariah clergy death sickness