Random Acts of Kindness

One morning about a week ago, my boyfriend and I went to breakfast at McDonald’s for our usual dollar menu biscuits. This is a treat for every now and then, however, today was quite different. We were waiting on our meal in a small crowd of people that had already ordered. A woman standing off to the side of us came up to me and put eleven dollars in my hand, saying “you two have breakfast on me.” Our meals had cost $4.27. It was a small miracle.

We frequently hear of people in the drive thru paying for the meals of the cars behind them. Over Christmas break, I heard on the news on several occasions that strangers had been paying for people’s layaway in department stores. I was thrilled that these random acts of kindness had infiltrated our local news station, which normally produces stories about burglaries and drug busts. It was a breath of fresh air. Times are hard for everyone, and even in today’s society, where all we seem to hear and talk about are the gloom and doom things, there are people stepping up for one another, reaching out to be an example of this thing we call community.

As followers of Christ, we are called to live like Jesus, who came to serve and not be served. Service is one of the greatest examples of love and humility that we can show. There are so many opportunities to serve, both on campus, and in the town of Toccoa. I am reminded of Nathan Smith’s words when he visited our campus to speak in chapel recently. God is not intimidated by what we perceive to be lacking or inadequate in our lives. He just wants whatever is in our hands. For Moses, it was a stick. For the boy in John chapter 6, it was five loaves of bread and two fish. Those things, in and of themselves, are seemingly insignificant. Maybe you consider whatever gifts and talents you have to be insignificant. We are called to be good stewards of our gifts and talents — God told Moses at the burning bush that he would use what was in his hand to reveal God’s power. It is my prayer that our student body would be burdened to serve one another, and to go out and serve our town of Toccoa, which so desperately needs to see the love of Christ manifested in our lives.

One act of service I’ve been thinking about recently is that of foot washing. This, to me, is one of the most supreme actions we can perform for one another. In fact, Jesus commands us to wash each other’s feet in John chapter 13.  Verses 15-17 say “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” The idea of washing someone else’s feet may shock or even repulse you, but it is such a vital part of service and intercession. Jesus stepped into the lives of his friends and got down in their dirt with them. I encourage each of you as the body of Christ to consider where you’ve been. Consider where your friends have been. Its frighteningly easy to accumulate dirt and baggage. The challenge comes in standing in the gap for each other and saying “I’m in the middle of this with you, you are not forgotten.”

If you’re looking for simple ways to serve, I came across a list online entitled “100 Ways to Serve Others.” The list includes holding doors for others, buying someone’s lunch, picking up loose garbage, mentoring, helping to organize an event, supporting missions, avoiding and guarding against gossip, being prepared, donating blood, and giving gift certificates (for more ideas, visit http://learnthis.ca/2010/02/100-ways-to-serve-others/).