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When our kids were little, we never knew which of their friends was carrying the chicken pox virus until they broke out. Typically, it was the day after they had been at our house. With our children and those of my sister and BFF Laura, we went through at least six, maybe seven, bouts of the itchy, scabby disease.

Outgrowing chicken pox, we found that lice was also easily transmitted. In one grade, we did treatment after treatment of the stinky hair meds. One of our daughter’s classmates had glorious blonde locks that her mom kept in princess shape. That poor girl caught lice from every kid in the county! I was sure her hair would disintegrate from all the tar goo her mother had to apply!

We were reminded again last week that the coronavirus is as contagious as chicken pox and lice. It went through the White House like a dose of salts! Each day brought news of another who had tested positive. Many used the opportunity to blame, point fingers and say mean things.

If only kindness were as contagious as chicken pox, lice and COVID! Colossians 3:12 instructs us to CLOTHE ourselves with kindness. (I picture myself wrapped like a burrito!)

Kind words and deeds can make a big impact in the lives of others. Proverbs 12:25 is a great verse for 2020. “Anxiety weighs down the heart; but a kind word cheers it up.” Do you know anyone with an anxious heart? The cure: a kind word — and it costs nothing!

Words leave invisible marks — both good and bad. Proverbs 16:24 (CEV) talks about the good: “Kind words are like honey — they cheer you up and make you feel strong.” Hooray! Proverbs 12:18 speaks to the bad ones: “Reckless words pierce like a sword…” Ouch!

I can still remember the kind words a lady spoke to me 50 years ago.

It was a tough time for my family. No one knew because there would have been consequences if it had gotten out. This sweet older lady had no idea about my home life. One Halloween night around 1970, my sister and I climbed the steps to her door. She gushed when she saw us. I can’t remember our costumes, but even now I can remember her tenderness. It still brings tears to my eyes to this day. I can hear her say, “Why, it’s Teri and Dawn!” like we were somebody wonderful. What a blessing that lady was! Her words were like balm on a wound.

In Luke 10:25-37, Jesus told a story of one man’s kindness. A traveler had fallen victim to robbers. They attacked him, stripped him, beat him, and left him half dead. Three men passed by him on the road. The priest crossed over to the other side. The religious man did not offer assistance. It was the outcast, the least likely, who helped the stranger in need.

Through the coronavirus, I’m covering my mouth and staying six feet away, yet I still can have an impact with my words and deeds — a good impact. If I throw around kindness and kind words like confetti (or glitter!), it might infect EVERYBODY I come in contact with! And then maybe THEY will infect the people THEY come in contact with! It could be an epidemic!

Dawn Reed writes a weekly column for HD Media. She can be contacted at preacherswife7@yahoo.com.