I watched this week as toys and food were distributed to the needy in our local communities. I saw the smiling faces of children who knew, at least for a moment, that someone outside their family cares for them. But then I found myself thinking, “What will they do next week?”
We’re all a little more generous in December. We’re made aware of the circumstances of those less fortunate. (And if you have the means to read this, you are more fortunate than someone.) But what will we do for others once the tree comes down and the ornaments are stored away?
My New Year’s resolutions have always been rather selfish and predictable- eat healthier food, exercise more, write more, blah, blah, blah… Oh, some years I’ve added “be kinder”, or “do more for my community”. I did the “random acts of kindness” for a while, when everyone else was focused on that objective. However, by May I’ve typically lost sight of most of my goals. This year I want to do things differently. This year I want to be different.
I haven’t decided what I’ll specifically do. Maybe I don’t have to decide ahead of time. Maybe I just need to be aware, and keep my heart open to opportunities. I do know that I want to do something each week that will benefit someone else. The Lord showed me a little opportunity this week. It was one that I had thought about several times, but the thought had never led to action. I finally did something about it, which only cost me $7.50 by the way, and helped someone who is always helping others. That’s what we need to do- little things that are still meaningful.
I think that sometimes we are kept from being more helpful to others because we know we can’t make a big difference. We know we can’t adopt a child or build a house or provide someone with a college scholarship. We aren’t rich or famous or even influential. But this week I recalled a woman who gave me $20 when I was literally counting pennies for gas money to get to work. I remembered someone anonymously leaving a bag of groceries on our porch when my husband was in the hospital. I thought about friends who took us to church when we didn’t have a car. Those are the little acts of kindness that stay with you for a lifetime. And I don’t think they are random at all. I think they are part of a deliberate, thoughtful way of life.
That’s what I want to do this year- be more deliberately, intentionally, consciously, thoughtful. I think that will be my New Year’s Resolution.