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Make Me a Blessing

Image result for kindness photos

The month of November is about being thankful and being a blessing. Most Christians look for ways to help needy families during this time of Thanksgiving. Whether it is packing food boxes for the community or dropping off a pie to a shut-in, our hearts tend to just reach out to others. The scripture encourages us to “Be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

It is funny how this works. Planning to go out of our way for our family, friends, or strangers can change our attitude in a hurry. It takes the focus off ourselves and puts it on another.

Kindness notices needs.

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In Luke 10:30, Jesus says, “A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes and money, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.” The despised Samaritan saw this man’s needs and saw to those needs. This is what a kind person does; he puts aside his own desires and helps others. Even if kindness interrupts my life, I want to be a good Samaritan. Don’t you?

Charles D. Meigs wrote a poem about kindness.

Lord, help me live from day to day,

In such a self-forgetful way,

That even when I kneel to pray,

My prayer will be for others.

Others, Lord, yes others,

Let this my motto be,

Help me live for others.

That I might live like Thee,

Help me in all the work I’d do,

To ever be sincere and true,

And know that all I’d do for you,

Must needs be done for others.

Image result for kindness photos of scarves for the homeless

Last Friday, John’s car ran into some difficulty with overheating. After filling it with more antifreeze, the same scenario happened. He ended up in a parking lot in between Tractor Supply and I Hop. After calling AAA, he called me for a ride home.

As we waited for the tow truck, a young man came walking down the hill and asked, “You folks in trouble?” John told him we were waiting on AAA. “Glad you didn’t hit each other,” he said with a smile.

About ten minutes later, a mother and her small child got out of a battered truck across the way. She called, “Do you need some help?” John told her the predicament, and I waved thank you.

We talked for a while about the two Good Samaritans that had reached out to us. Yes, we were all strangers. John and I are in our seventies, and the Samaritans were probably in their twenties. We probably had little in common. I noticed the large bag she toted on her shoulder when she headed back to the truck from Tractor Supply. I don’t remember ever doing anything like that. The man sported cowboy boots, a flannel shirt, and was chewing, as he climbed into his old truck. That’s not my hubby’s usual attire, but I do think he could handle it. I was driving our CRV, not a truck.

There were others in the parking lot that either drove or walked by us, but these two weren’t going to be like the priest and the Levite in Jesus’ story. These strangers were willing and wanted to help. They wanted to get involved.

Last night there was another shooting at a bar in California. Thirteen people died, including the policeman that went in to protect others. He, also, wanted to help, and he slowed down the shooter by taking bullets aimed at others.

One of my favorite hymns is “Make Me a Blessing” by Ira B. Wilson. We have to only open our eyes to those around us to see their needs and then choose to help.

In Matthew 10:32, Jesus says, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted,” said Aesop. Let’s don’t waste any of those cups of cold water: let’s find someone to give them to!

 

 

 

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Daddy’s Cane

 

Hand, Walking Stick, Arm, Elderly, Old Person, Cane


I have always been intrigued by canes.

My great grandfather was 6’3″, and his canes were taller than I was during my childhood. I would tightly hold his with both hands and clomp around his house and yard. Then I would lay it down beside me and measure myself with it. Trying to pick things up with the crook could exasperate me or elicit a squeal of joy.

We have several of my dad’s canes, and I have bought John some unique ones. There is a brass duck handle on one, and another has a carved wooden base and handle. I found a handmade cane that has carved on it the story of Creation; the man that creates these is a minister. He is fascinated by finding the stories in wood.

These past few weeks, my husband John has been using my other great grandfather’s cane; this grand died when I was two, and Daddy inherited those simple, black canes. When Daddy had surgery several times or an asthma attack, he would pull out his grandfather’s canes for support.

Two weeks ago, John headed out the front door using one of those black canes to run a quick errand. On the stoop next to the sidewalk of our house was a man. He was sitting down and bowed over. There were two grocery bags at his feet. Dressed in khaki pants, shirt, and sweater, he was taking deep breaths.

Walking over to the stranger, John asked if he could help. The man replied that he was just resting before he climbed the rest of the hill. They talked a few minutes; John helped him up, picked up the bags, and handed over the black cane.

“This cane will help you,” were John’s simple words.

Then he watched the man go on his way.

After hearing this story, when John came in to get the other black cane, I smiled. Those other Collins men would have given that same cane away to someone in need, and I have always admired and appreciated my husband’s kindness.

We are often faced with opportunities to be kind and helpful.

Aesop wrote many fables, and they often dealt with animals who were kind. This author said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

Our society today is often focused on entitlements and “what’s in it for me.” There’s seldom any reward for unselfish actions.

There have been many stories and movies about the results of being unselfish and reaching out to care for someone else, even a stranger. Pay It Forward hit the theaters in 2000, and I remember being fascinated by the young boy who decided to change the world by reaching out to strangers. His choices, even to bringing a homeless man home to supper, started an avalanche of kindness. This young teen’s idea was rather than pay back a favor from someone; a better idea would be to pay it forward.

I think it would be a good idea to start a chain reaction of paying it forward. What about you?