Day 6, March 19, 2020
“A Kind Word”
In the summer of 1980, I served as a counselor at Calvin Crest, a Christian summer camp in California, near the gates of Yosemite National Park. At some point during that week a camp leader was talking with me about studying the bible. She said, “Did you know that if you read five Psalms and one Proverb each day, in one month you will have read through all the Psalms and Proverbs?” That one insight launched me on a path that has brought deep joy, meaning, and purpose to my life. Daily bible reading is a source of great strength and inspiration.
That conversation some 40 years ago is at the heart of our daily devotional this morning. On day twelve, way back in 1980, I was reading the Proverb for the day, Proverbs 12. In Proverbs 12:25 I found these words of wisdom. “Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs him down, but a kind word makes him glad.” Later the Proverbs will tell us, “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11) For me, the counsel about kind words was the apple of gold in a setting of silver. Time and time again in my life I have been weighed down by anxiety. A personal crisis arises, a national crisis arises, a health crisis arises, a crisis for a loved one arises, a crisis in our faith community arises, and anxiety is right there to weigh down my heart. The Coronavirus arises…and anxiety is right there to weigh my heart down.
So many times, at just that deepest time of anxiety, that situation of despair, a kind word comes along. A kind word makes a person glad. A kind word even lifts some of the anxiety. Yesterday as we were being inundated with more anxiety producing news about the scope of the spread of the virus, a card came in the mail. Unrelated to the Coronavirus, a dear friend was praying for us, and for a concern we had shared about a family member facing a surgery. The note let us know prayers were being offered. The note let us know someone cared. The note let us know we were loved. The note was filled with kind words. Believe me, those kind words made us glad.
During this time of the Coronavirus, I am certain you have felt anxiety. We all have. But I wonder if you have also experienced some kind words, some kind actions, some kind thoughts, some kind gestures that have made you glad? If so, I invite you to respond and share the words that have made you glad during this anxious time. Maybe your words will be the kind words that bring gladness to another person. I look forward to hearing from you.
With the love of Christ,