This reading is the wonderful passage “the fruit of the Spirit.” Paul is explaining how, when we live a life controlled by the Holy Spirit, gifts appear in our life, like fruit on a tree. Or, it’s like we have a tumor growing, but the news is good; it’s actually something good taking over our life.
In pondering the list I came upon the word kindness (verse 22). To me kindness is a choice that someone makes; it involves deciding to do good. (For me being judgmental may get in the way of being kind). This is something I’ll never forget that happened to my daughter and I when she was ten.
My daughter was playing in a softball league. She was a beginner and very frustrated that she wasn’t able to master batting. Towards the end of the season she was up to bat and not doing well. One of the team fathers was the umpire that day. He noticed that my daughter had tears welling up in her eyes. He called time out. He stepped out from behind the plate and bent down to speak to my daughter. I heard him ask her if she was okay. She nodded and he resumed the game.
Kindness means bending down to help instead of ignoring. It means being patient enough to make an effort. I will always be grateful.