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A few years ago, my youngest son had surgery. As we were waiting to be called back, we met a man in the waiting area who obviously loved to talk. My youngest loves to talk to people who seem to need it, and let me tell you it was some conversation. The gentleman was very nice, but obviously very lonely. He talked… and talked… and talked…so much so that when he (we’ll call him Mr. S) was called back to get prepped for his surgery, he still talked to my youngest a minute while the nurse waited for him to finish.

Several hours later, my son’s surgery was finished. I was in recovery with him as he was waking up from anesthesia. Still groggy and being acclimated to his surroundings these were his words: “I wonder if Mr. S is okay.”

My heart melted a little. Who wakes up from surgery concerned about a stranger? I have never been a prouder momma.

I pondered that question for the rest of the day: “Who wakes up from surgery concerned about a stranger”?

I tried to come up with the word to describe the person who thinks of others, who talks to people in a waiting room they’ve never met as they are facing their own fears, a person who wakes up from anesthesia concerned about someone else.

The word I finally was satisfied with was kind.

I had forgotten what kindness looked like.

Proverbs 3:3 says, “Let not kindness and truth forsake thee: Bind them about thy neck; Write them upon the tablet of thy heart:”

Kindness takes so little effort, but it can literally change a person’s entire day.

Galatians 5:22 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith.”

Kindness wasn’t something my youngest had to work at. It was natural because He had the Holy Spirit living in him.

Kindness isn’t something we have to work up to. We have it when we have the Holy Spirit living in us. It’s just a matter of whether we use what we already have.

I may have a hammer in my garage, but unless I pick it up and use it, it’s worthless.

So it is with kindness. We must utilize what God has placed inside of us.

As I remember the sweet words of my youngest waking up from surgery that day, I am reminded that kindness comes from within. It’s a choice whether I use the tool God has already placed in me.

So today, instead of swinging the hammer of hate, apathy, and selfishness, I’m choosing to be kind. I’m choosing to remember what kindness looks like.