By Pastor Wes Poole
Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. – ESV
Aubrey bought a fleece-lined coat for her aging father, but he died before he could wear it. So she tucked a note of encouragement with a $20 bill into the pocket and donated the jacket to charity.
Ninety miles away, unable to endure his family’s dysfunction any longer, nineteen-year-old Kelly left his house without grabbing a coat. He knew of only one place to turn—the home of his grandmother who prayed for him. Hours later he stepped off a bus and into his grandma’s arms. Shielding him from the winter wind, she said, “We’ve got to get you a coat!” At the mission store, Kelly tried on a coat he liked. Slipping his hands into the pockets he found an envelope—with a $20 bill and Aubrey’s note.
The above story was in my inbox this morning as a part of a daily devotional that I read every day. It really resonated with me, and so I share it with you. It reminded me, once again, of how ministry is not usually a series of grand gestures or public displays. Sure, Jesus could feed 5000+ people with a bit of bread and fish, but when we manage to feed one person, the act is no less significant. I would imagine Kelly never forgot that thrift store coat with its unexpected treasure. Likewise, the person on the receiving end of any good work we can do will remember that personal act of kindness, and may even be inspired to “pay it forward”, as it were. No doubt, many of us have heard or seen the saying “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty”. This powerful bit of wisdom was first penned by journalist Anne Herbert on a placemat in Sausalito, California in 1982. I don’t know anything about Ms. Herbert’s faith or beliefs, but if you needed to boil down the essence of ministry into a sentence, you could do a lot worse! Jesus’ own ministry was itself a series of often random encounters that left everyone involved changed for the better. It’s no different for we 21st century disciples of Jesus. A co-worker, the person next to us in line at the grocery, the fellow parishioner, the stranger you encounter; all of these interactions are opportunities to put this philosophy into practice. As we go about our everyday lives, let us all commit ourselves to following Jesus’ example, and be ready to grasp the moment. You might just make someone smile, or make their day…or even change a life!
Let us pray…
God of all goodness and beauty, help us to recognize the opportunities for ministry that present themselves in the smallest things. When we choose to make kindness, mercy, generosity, and love the operative forces in our lives, we are embracing the life into which you have called us, and modeled for us in the person of you son, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.
Be well, be kind, be safe…and be watchful!
Your Partner in Christ,
Pastor Wes Poole †