Each year on Christmas Eve Day, I have a tradition of delivering a small gift to the people who provide a service to me throughout the year. The postman, butcher, coffee-shop owner, etc. I’ve been doing it for years. The gifts are always received with such happiness and delight.
This year, as I was walking toward the coffee shop to deliver a bottle of wine, I stopped into a local oriental rug store to pick up a rug I had ordered the week before. The owner of the store greeted me when I walked in. He’s been in that same location for 25 years now. He’s a wheeler-dealer, an all-business kind of guy…he rarely smiles. He and I had a fairly intense negotiation session over the rug I purchased the previous week.
As I reached to shake his hand he noticed the gift-wrapped bottle of wine I was carrying (the coffee-shop owner’s gift, remember). Mistakenly assuming the gift was for him, he reached for it with his other hand and said, “This is for me?,” and then began thanking me profusely. His face lit up, almost in shock, and he started searching for something to give me in return. He also sells imported tea in his shop…so he grabbed a box containing a selection of exotic teas and gave it to me with pride and joy.
I was struck by how a simple act of (unintended) kindness brought such happiness to this man. For a few minutes that gift transformed this man’s life. We talked a bit more and then I left with my rug; the smile remained on his face the entire time. Based on his reaction it’s fair to say this man was in desperate need of some attention and kindness.
We all are beaten down by this world at times. It’s hard to notice how God wants to work through us to touch others and address their needs. Sometimes God is reaching out to us. But if our head is down in self-pity, frustration, or resignation we won’t see who God brought into our life and is speaking through.
Today, think of one or two people whose lives you might change even for a few minutes by delivering some unexpected kindness. There are so many people around us who live in quiet desperation. I doubt you will have to look far…maybe one of those people lives in your own h ome. Be a Lighthouse and shine God’s love on others. If you are struggling, look up and pay attention. God is reaching out to you, but to receive His grace and comfort you have to be looking for them. Look for the Lighthouse He puts in your life.
Dear Father God, I thank You, Father, for leading me to this man who was in need of some kindness. I confess Lord that I am much too focused on myself…on my issues and needs. I pray that You fill me with Your Holy Spirit, and guide me to those in need of love and attention. Let them need see Your radiant light shining through me and onto them. I pray in the name of the one You sent to transform me though forgiveness and love, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children said – AMEN!
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”