Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, for a part of love is being kind. Ephesians 4:32; I Corinthians 13:4
The following story is about Ronald Reagan, who was not only a remarkably effective President during his tenure as the leader of our country but a genuinely kind person as well. It is a story every President, past, present, or future, should remember and consider.
The story begins with Francis Green, an 83-year-old woman who lived on social security in a small town near San Francisco. She had very little money but sent at least one dollar to the Republican National Convention every year. Because she was a contributor, Francis, like every other contributor, got a fund-raising letter in the mail. It invited the recipient to come to the White House to meet President Reagan on a specific date. Francis never noticed that with the letter was an RSVP card with a suggested donation. Perhaps it slipped out when she opened the letter.
Frances scraped together every dollar she had in her excitement and took a four-day train trip to Washington DC. She couldn’t afford to go by plane, that was way too expensive. And even on the train, she could not afford to stay in the sleeper car, so she sat in the coach section for the entire trip.
When Francis arrived at the White House gate, she gave her name. However, the guard frowned at her after glancing over the list of names allowed to see the President at this special fundraiser. Francis wasn’t on it. She was heart-broken, for she loved President Reagan and desperately wanted to meet him.
In the midst of this disappointment, a Ford Motor Company executive, standing right behind her in line when all this happened, felt compassion for her. As she started to walk away, he touched her arm and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll get you in to see the President. Meet me here tomorrow at 9 am.”
Francis agreed and showed up the next morning. This time her name was on the list, but only to see the White House on a guided tour. Many things were going on at the White House that morning; there were all kinds of issues being discussed. The atmosphere was filled with several high-level leaders and generals coming and going out of Reagan’s office.
At the end of the tour, the Ford Motor company’s executive met Francis to show her at least a glimpse of the President from a distance when his oval office door opened. As it did open, Reagan saw Francis and motioned for her to come into his office. As she entered, Reagan said, “Francis, those darn computers, they fouled up again. If I’d known you were coming, I would have come out there to get you myself.” He then invited Francis to sit down, and they talked leisurely about Californian, home, and family.
Some might say Reagan wasted an essential part of his day with Francis; after all, what could she give in return? But that was just Ronald Reagan, to whom many who knew him would often attest.
Kindness is a Godly quality to be given to any who need it, no matter who they are and no matter the time or circumstance.
Yes, Ronald Reagan will likely go down as one of our greatest Presidents. But more than that, He will go down as one of our kindest Presidents, which I believe resulted from his own often proclaimed relationship with Christ.
So, be kind to others, even if it means there is no advantage in it for you. And if you struggle with being kind, ask God to help you. He is always willing and able.
Ask, and it will be given to you. Matthew 7:7