I spent some time in an emergency room last night. My god-daughter is pretty sick with the flu and a very infected throat. Around 3 am I pulled up to the hospital clearly needing someone with great medical skills to assess her swollen throat and provide some much needed medication. And we definitely received that care. Her body is responding already and I am very grateful for the readily available medical services.
But I made a few observations during that visit.
Emergency rooms are by definition equipped to handle emergencies. And an emergency is an unusual, difficult to handle, scary thing for most people. When you head through those doors with a loved one in tow, you are certainly looking for skilled care. But I think you are also hoping for something else…or at least I was. I needed expertise, but I also needed encouragement.
But unfortunately, I didn’t hear it at the front desk, or from the first or second nurse or from the doctor. But towards the end of the visit a bright eyed, very warm and friendly nurse came through the door with the final instructions on how to take all the medications. She took time to connect with the patient. She giggled with her over a silly side effect that might occur. She cautioned her like a friendly aunt might do. Her kindness was punctuating her professionalism. And I truly appreciated it.
To use the words from Proverbs 31:26, the law of kindness was on her tongue. And it made a difference!
The law of kindness is a powerful Old Testament phrase that emphasizes the need for people to use their words to encourage others. Those words can be a brief passing comment by a stranger, or a lengthy conversation with a loved one. They can be funny or serious. They can include a kind touch or be delivered long distance over the phone. But words of encouragement and kindness are desperately needed…in my world, and yours.
So in the spirit of “give and it shall be given unto you,” let’s go out this week and search for someone who needs a kind word. Stop at the elevator and find a way to wish someone a good day. Help carry groceries out for a young mom and remind her that toddlers do grow up. Go see someone in the hospital and pray with and for them. Use words they can understand and smile a lot. Take time to hear out a friend. Share an iced tea with a neighbor and use your words to encourage your children.
Emergency rooms aren’t the only fearful spots around town. There are anxious folks in living rooms and conference rooms all around us. And they all need to see the law of kindness at work in God’s kids.
Warmest regards in Christ,
Sherry L. Worel
Stoneybrooke Christian Schools