There's a Bible story about an unnamed rich man and Lazarus, a beggar who sits at the rich man's gate. Dogs lick his sores. I used to think this was the ultimate low. The dogs were taunting him. Even the dogs...
Then the penny dropped. Not taunting but serving. Even the dogs gave Lazarus what they could. Dogs' tongues have some medicinal qualities. They won't harm.
The rich man dies and sees Lazarus, also dead, at Abraham's side. Even in torment he gives orders. 'Send Larazus to bring me water. Send Lazarus to warn my brothers.' The rich man is a racist. Lazarus is not 'one of us'.
Can we get beyond the idea of only helping people who are 'one of us'? Thom from Fishponds is demonstrating so with his ten acts of kindness. If you do a random act of kindness for a stranger then you are doing it for whoever happens to be there.
Pay it Forward is a movie. Twenty years old now. In one of the opening scenes a guy gives a stranger his car on a wet night. When asked why the reply is simply 'pay it forward'. The film then explains how that state of affairs arose, as movies often do.
Elsewhere Jesus said that what you do for the least of these you did for me.
We should all learn that we don't have to find out what someone is like before being nice to them.
Two guys are walking past a beggar. The beggar asks for change. The first guy hands over £10. 'He's only going to spend it on drink' says his friend. 'What a coincidence' said the generous man 'that is exactly what I was going to do with it.'