Have you ever heard of the practice of choosing a word for the year and making that word your "focus?" I've heard of it, and I always thought it was a little - I don't know - not silly, not odd - but something. Limiting? Would I only focus on peace for a whole year? Let's just say that it has never been something I wanted to try.
This year, however, a word has been hounding me. At the beginning of the year, I was hearing it everywhere. Sometimes, for me, that is a sign that God wants me to pay attention. That word for me was "kindness."
I had heard it often enough as the year started that I thought I needed to give it some extra thought. Kindness. I wrote in my bullet journal that I think I was being pushed to think of ways to think and speak with more kindness.
And then one day, I was complaining about someone to a friend. (So much for kindness). The friend said, "smother her with kindness." My response? "I don't want to." I didn't want to, but that was what I tried to do.
As I thought about it later, I was reminded that kindness is a gift of the spirit. A gift from God. We don't have to depend on ourselves to be kind. We can depend on God to grant us the ability to be kind. When we don't feel like it, when we don't want to, when we know we can't, on our own, be kind, God will give us the grace of kindness - a gift that we can offer others because we have been equipped to do so through the actions of the Holy Spirit.
I'll try to remember that this year as I strive for kindness.