What if your grandpa died and your dad, and then what if your grandpa had been king and your family is fleeing for safety after the war?
Yes, this is exactly what happened to this little boy, Mephibosheth, who was five when he lost his family. King Saul was his grandpa and Jonathan was his daddy. Both died in battle.
Now Mephibosheth gets carried off with his nurse to hide and in her rush something tragic happened which left the boy crippled.
Jump ahead and Mephiboshe
th is grown now and living in Lodebar. I love that name. It rings of desolation. It reads with syllables like an echo of lost steps from being alone.
Well King David is at the helm, and he asked, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
(Keep in mind, Jonathan and David were best friends.)
Do we ever think like that? When we wake in the morning and get out of bed, do we ask “to whom can I show kindness?” I must admit that’s not how I function. If I’m honest, I pretty much hope someone is kind to me, instead.
Speaking to the children at Kids Beach Club, our topic was kindness, so I shared some moments from my own childhood to put our thoughts on track.
I shared the time the produce man came down our driveway and my twin sister and I, being toddlers, ran inside yelling, “Stranger danger.”
Well, it turned out this man was our friend, and mom had talked to us about talking to strangers but apparently we didn’t know the meaning.
We knew Carl (not sure of his name) and yet, we ran away. He wanted to be kind and give us some fruit that day, if we hadn’t gone into the house.
I told the kids about falling off the steps and passing out at school in the first grade and how that wasn’t too kind of the porch to let me fall.
I picked another one, where this boy jumped on top of me in the lake and pushed me deep into the mud. Oh, wait, that’s not too terribly kind.
I used several other chaotic stories with the intent to focus on how I wanted others to be kind to me, but in reality, I needed to be kind myself.
I came to an illustration where this taxi driver stopped on the side of the road (I was grown in this story like Mephibosheth when King David looked for him) and I didn’t have enough money to get to work in the taxi.
I only had five dollars, and had to walk the rest of the way. I slipped into work, sweaty from the two mile trek as my car was broken down at the daycare where I’d dropped off my own toddler son, Marty.
By the end of the day, I discovered my boss had a mechanic fix my car, and also, he noticed the bald tires and bought four new ones. Now that’s an unexpected kindness, and the kindness he offered revealed the heart of this boss, one that overflowed with thoughtfulness.
But what about me? Who can I be kind to?
This is why the story in 2 Samuel 9, where David offers kindness resonates with me. I need to be more like him.
So when King David sent for Mephibosheth, the grandson of King Saul bowed down in front of the king. But David said, “Mephibosheth! Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather, and you shall eat at my table always.”
I love this story. I love how it affected not only one man, but Ziba, the servant who had fifteen sons and twenty servants. Because Ziba was going to work for Mephibosheth, and everyone in that group was receiving a blessing through this one act of kindness.
In other words, kindness overflows and touches many lives. Plus, I love how Mephibosheth ate at David’s table, like one of the king’s sons.
And one more thing. Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Mica. Just imagine how this kindness touched the little boy’s life.
Never think your kindness isn’t important or that it matters not; for the love of Christ, and His kindness to us should flow from us to others.
We should burst with joy at sharing the gospel too, at wanting others to sit at the Lord’s table in heaven forever, too.
So share Jesus and call them from the “Lodebar” of hiding, and let Christ call them from their sin to repentance; and introduce them to the King of Kings.