Gratitude Day 600
Matthew 5:16 – So don’t hide your light! Let it shine brightly before others, so that your commendable works will shine as light upon them, and then they will give their praise to your Father in heaven.”
It is SO WONDERFUL to be with people who really care for what they do.
Many Friday mornings, I volunteer with a weekend food distribution program for our local school district. We put together bags of food for students who might struggle with food insecurity, i.e. – kids who might not have enough food to eat.
It’s been a widely successful program on many, many fronts. Kids get free food. This alone keeps kids attending school more regularly, helps them stay focused and takes away some anxiety in their lives. We also have an outstanding group of volunteers who work with the program. A few folks and I oversee the program. We have a healthy number of volunteers who help pack the bags. We have enough volunteers that everyone packs one day a month.
When the pandemic closed down public schools a year ago, our Blessings program called an audible. We continued to provide weekend food bags but set-up an alternative distribution process. And our numbers increased by about 25%. We limited the number of volunteers who helped pack.
When school resumed last fall, we let volunteers choose whether or not they wanted to be a part of a packing team. The folks who volunteer LOVE it. Many were so excited to be back packing, as this was a way they feel like they are able to help someone else. The volunteers so enjoy helping students make sure they get enough food. There is also a comradery within the teams. The volunteers enjoy seeing the other volunteers. Sometimes, we have to encourage them to move outside of our packing location so we can get the building locked and deliver the bags!
Yesterday, four volunteers helped get the bags packed and delivered. As we were finishing up, I thanked them for helping out. Yes, it’s only about an hour or so of their Friday morning. But I want them to know we really appreciate what they do. This is the typical answer I receive when I thank them, “No, thank YOU for letting us help.”
In this world, there are givers and there are takers. And boy, doesn’t it feel great to be around the givers?
Givers know that they feel better about themselves when they help someone else out. Givers can stop themselves from only thinking of themselves and choose to help others. When I get into my head too much, I know that serving is a way for me to stop having my own pity-party and appreciate all that I have. Givers know that they don’t have to give the world to someone. When we all give just a little, a lot can and does happen because compounding giving is truly a wonderful thing.
So, how might YOU give a little to someone and make a difference? It doesn’t have to be a lot. Just a tiny little something that will make someone’s day. Here are a few suggestions:
- Go through the drive through and leave additional money at the window to put towards the next vehicle’s purchase. Just even paying for their drinks is a super cool gesture.
- Walk into the gas station and pay for the person ahead of you.
- At the grocery store, buy something fun, like candy bars or pints of milk. Have grocery store employees hand them out until they are gone.
- Pick up a small bouquet of flowers and take to a neighbor. Just because.
- Drop off a dozen cookies at the widow or widower’s house that you know. (Store bought is just fine.)
- Take some donuts to the local police department or fire station or other public service location.
I am confident that you can come up with a better idea than I have. Keep it simple. Make it easy. Do something so spontaneous and fun that your smile is bigger on your face than on the person who receives your little random act of kindness.
Jesus doesn’t just give us a casual suggestion to be the light of God’s kingdom in this world. No, he’s a lot more specific. When we let God’s light shine through us and some little random act of kindness that we do, then others will see this as God’s light shining on them. They may even say something like, “Praise the Lord!”
It’s the first day of spring. Hopefully, it will be a glorious day where you are. Make it an even more glorious day for someone else by making them the beneficiary of some little random act of kindness. Just like the Blessings bags, I’m convinced that YOU will be more blessed than the person(s) who receive your kindness. At least try it out and find out!
For the wonderful feeling I receive when I serve someone else, I am grateful.
Holy God – Jesus informed the disciples that they would get to replace him as the hands and feet of Your kingdom. And we now have this same responsibility to continue representing Your kingdom in the world around us. May we never underestimate the little things we do because when these little random acts are compounded, we can truly make a significant different. Thank you. Amen.
Stop by diannedeatonvielhuber on Instagram today for a few more thoughts about today’s Lenten topic.
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