More than random acts of kindness
Our deeds are pointed out to us more or less every day. We repeatedly hear that we must do good to others. And most of us want to do good to others. But it’s not always that easy with life rushing by. We struggle to leave things to first go and attend to someone else’s need.
We all struggle. A minister friend of mine is deadly honest about this:
I fail completely. People knock on my door all the time. Even Sundays when I’m on the verge of leaving with Bible, songbook, memory stick with the day’s Power Point, catechism books in my arms. If I then first make something to eat, the church council becomes nervous in the consistory and the guy operating the data projector starts worrying. WWJD. Maybe my congregation should have known me better than to think that I’ve overslept, but should’ve been reasonably certain that I was helping someone somewhere. And started praying in the meantime …
Nice, but in practice rather difficult. Especially when I’ve told the same guys not to come on a Sunday morning just before church, and also not on week mornings when we’ve eventually gotten the two kids in the car and school will be starting in 6 minutes…
Is this not true for all of us? Now and then we succeed in doing good, but we struggle to keep it up. We actually only do good when it suits us and sometimes only when others are looking. As if we want to prescribe when need must make an appearance.
We all struggle.
18It is a good thing to be ardent in doing good, but not just when I am in your presence.
And we feel guilty.
A teacher tells this story:
I’m a teacher and there are so many lost teenagers. The previous day I bumped into a rebellious, lazy boy with tattoos running up his neck and empty eyes. I walked away and thought: It’s not worth it! But God’s Spirit kept reminding me of that child. and that evening I realised that God loves him and wanted to save him.
I wrote on a piece of paper: You don’t know me, but I have an urgent message from God for you. I kept in my handbag for two days until I saw him again. I called him aside and explained what had happened. He read the letter. Then I said to him he should come to me when he was ready to hear the message, because it would change his life. He passes me every day and greets me …
A friend heard about this and decided to send the boy a special soccer Bible. The teacher wrote back to him:
The Bible you sent the boy touched me so. I gave it to him. He was speechless when he opened it and saw his name and the personal message inside! Thank you that I could realise that when I think a child who is so naughty and rebellious is not worth it, God will show that he is worth so much to Him that He will make a stranger send by courier a personal message in the form of books, with his name (which God knew before the foundation of the world) in one of those books. God is great, loving and merciful. I’m grateful that I could be part of this, even though none of us know when the boy will allow God into his life.
At the end of every year the Cape radio station, KFM, has random acts of kindness by creating a platform for listeners to help people in need. Time and again I sob my heart out in the car, because it touches my heart when people open their hands. We don’t even have to wait for a radio station to launch a project. No, as children of God wherever we go and right through the day we must look for opportunities to do good. Not because we deserve anything, but because we receive so much – all we can do is to share it with the people around us who deserve it as little as we do.
And I know it will be difficult, but let’s try again and again!
Where can you make a difference?
Where can you make a difference again?
How will you make a difference?
Lord, it’s difficult to do good. It’s even more difficult to do good if it doesn’t fit our schedule. But I do know we have to do good from gratitude. I struggle. Therefore, I need power and guidance. Please help me, Father. Amen