Proverbs 12:25, “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” This is the verse that jumped out to me today as I wait for a zoom meeting with the Bishop about reopening church services. Certainly we are anxious about how to be kind to those who have compromised health, who are isolated, who might be endangered by our actions. I looked up kind to stimulate my thinking. “Kind” as a noun refers to groups with common traits. Lutherans are a kind of Christian characterized, in part, by our belief in communion as a sacrament. Yesterday I learned that Lutherans believe that the full blessing of communion is in either element, either “kind” ie bread or whine, so I may encourage congregants to only take one element if they are anxious about either and they will receive the full blessing! As I read, I was reminded that sometimes we pay our bills in “kind,” ie not cash but something of value. In Kenya we could pay a debt with a goat. Perhaps the gift of salvation is a payment in kind. In any case, we are a kind of Christian and practice a kind of communion expressing our faith in a “kind” God who pays our debts in kind. Ooops, now I have used “kind” as an adjective, describing the nature or essence of a person or action. Micah 6:8 reminds us, “He (God) has told you, O mortal, what is good’ and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Whatever kind of sheltering you are doing today, may you be kind to yourself and perhaps use the phone to call a friend and share a kind word that cheers the heart during these times of anxiety.

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