Weekly Devotional thoughts
For the next 40 days (Lent) let’s do a couple of things out of the ordinary. One is to create a “gratitude” list. This gratitude list would be a record of all the kind things others do for you. Whenever you are the recipient of an act of kindness, write it down. Acts of kindness should not go unnoticed and unappreciated. Raise your awareness that God has placed these individuals in your life.
Next, act kindly and lovingly towards everyone in your life, including strangers. Initially we may do these acts of kindness in hopes of being put on someone else’s “gratitude” list. But over time, with Christ’s help, these acts of kindness will become second nature.
I recently read a short story about two boys who did an act of kindness. Initially they wanted to prank a man working in his field. They thought about taking his shoes and hiding them and then watching his reaction as he discovered they were missing. The older boy suggested another plan. Instead of hiding his shoes, they should instead place a coin in each one and see what his reaction would be. They hid nearby in some bushes and waited.
“It wasn’t long before the farmer came in from the field, tired and worn. He reached down and pulled on a shoe, immediately feeling the money under his foot. With the coin now between his fingers, he looked around to see who could have put it in his shoe. But no one was there. He held the dollar in his hand and stared at it in disbelief. Confused, he slid his other foot into his other shoe and felt the second coin.
This time, the man was overwhelmed when he removed the second silver dollar from his shoe. Thinking he was alone, he dropped to his knees and offered a verbal prayer that the boys could easily hear from their hiding place. They heard the poor farmer cry tears of relief and gratitude. He spoke of his sick wife and his boys in need of food. He expressed gratitude for this unexpected bounty from unknown hands.
After a time, the boys came out from their hiding place and slowly started their long walk home. They felt good inside, warm, changed somehow knowing the good they had done to a poor farmer in dire straits. A smile crept across their souls” .
When Christ asks us to love our neighbors He isn’t asking for us to do something monumental every time. A simple act of kindness and the recognition of the good done for us is often life changing. As we journey towards the cross, remember we are not on this journey alone.