The other day, I drove to a McDonald’s and ordered a Filet-O-Fish meal deal with a chocolate shake. I got ready to pay the girl at the window, but she joyfully announced that the guy in front of me had already paid my bill.

I was delighted and somewhat stunned, as I had been considering doing the same thing while I was waiting to be served. Just a few days earlier, I had generously been given some money, so I said I was happy to pay for the person behind me.

The guy in front of me had pulled over to wait for his order to be finalized, so I thanked him and he waved me on with a smile. I drove out of the parking lot and, as I stopped at a red light, someone pulled up alongside me, wound down his window and thanked me for paying his bill. He shared that he had paid for the guy behind him, too.

Goodness and Generosity

I drove away with a big smile on my face and a warm, fuzzy glow in my tummy—not only from the magical chemistry of combining fried fish and a chocolate milkshake, but also the mysterious intersection of goodness and generosity on a random day with random people.

I have no idea what motivated the kindness. Whatever it was, it is hard to deny that the goodness here was a beautiful thing, without an agenda, that sowed generosity into the world with an ongoing effect, like throwing a stone into a pond. 

Kindness got Jesus into a lot of trouble. People questioned Him about His motives and the authority of His goodness. How was He so wise and insightful? How was He so obviously good without “proper training” and the “right” credentials? Jesus didn’t bother giving His critics a clear answer—He just continued being the amazing person He was and let His love and actions do the talking.

Kindness and Love

Many people are cynical about authority of almost any kind and are more inclined to join groups and events that have pure motives, and almost no requirement to join or align to any rigid sort of philosophy. There is a growing trust in the mystery of goodness for the sake of kindness and love. 

The care and affection I experience in community life feels safe and genuine. When the agenda is pure, we are not trying to control each other and there are no requirements to believe anything or behave in certain ways. When love and generosity are given, they are free from the bonds so often associated with institutions and experts. 

Jesus let His love and actions do the talking. Bryce Davies

The irony of this truth is that things could be disorganized and a bit ad hoc, without a central power body calling the shots and setting the direction of our groups. But they are not. We meet consistently and communicate seamlessly, and the spirit of mutual support and encouragement is powerful. 

This culture of loving support and care is not mandated or even defined. It is just evolving organically and is a beautiful thing to be a part of. 

The only people who questioned Jesus’ motives and credentials were the religious leaders of the time who were threatened by His influence and goodness. The people He was intimately involved with, and whom He loved, felt His holiness and pure love and couldn’t get enough of it. 

Definitely something to think about and respond to. 

Major Bryce Davies is a Salvation Army pastor based in Queensland, Australia.

Reprinted from Salvos (Australia), July 29, 2023

Photo: trancedrumer/

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