Give Kindness

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Leila Scoggins

It’s true what they say- you never know what goes on behind closed doors.

Last week, I got a call I have come to know all too well. “Don’t freak out.” Is it just me or does hearing those words automatically cause you to freak out? Yeah, I thought so.

“I’m going to go home and shower and drive myself to the hospital.” Planning mode activated. Three hours later, we found ourselves in the same ER, hearing the same words. Pancreatitis.

Well, what else could it be, I thought. Another holiday spent inside the same sterile walls of our local hospital. But this time I was bound and determined not to let it get me down.

God had given us seven, yes seven, solid months of good health and no hospital visits, a big improvement from our bimonthly trips. Instead of getting frustrated, I let the Lord turn that frustration into gratitude and praise. And it transformed the entire stay.

The doctor’s orders were the same as always- no food or drink by mouth for 24 hours, IV fluids, pain meds and a lot of rest. Improvement came fast this time around and when my phone rang the morning they claimed he would be released I was hesitant.

“They brought me clear liquids again. I was supposed to have solids. I’m starving,” was the gist of the conversation. Disgruntled, I ran to get my own breakfast. Sitting in the drive-thru at Chick-fil-A, I’ll be honest I was a little impatient even allowing those feelings of frustration to kick in.

But just as the Lord had done days before he saw my frustration through the lens of grace, humbling me in a matter of minutes. “The lady in the car in front of you paid for your food,” said the cheerful employee.

Here I was caught up in my circumstances when someone, in a silver SUV, chose to give kindness. You see, this lady didn’t know about my bad attitude or what was going on in my life behind the closed door of my car.

She didn’t know where my vehicle was headed or how the past six years have been a constant struggle with disease and sickness for our little family. But her selfless act showed me God’s goodness and softened my hardened heart.

She might not have known what was going on behind closed doors but the Lord knew. Psalm 139: 23-24 says, “Search me, Oh God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous ways in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”

The Lord knew my heart in that moment, and He knows it in every moment of every day. He also knows my thoughts. He knows the pain of the past six years and He promises me a future and He meets my every need and even when I sin against him, and those around me, He forgives me. He meets me exactly where I am. And, I’m not the only one He knows.

He knew the lady in the silver SUV and the employee at Chick-fil-A and He knows you too. So to the woman in the SUV, thank you. Thank you for giving kindness, thank you for being the hands and feet of God. You made a lasting impression on this worn out wife.

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