You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. At least that is what I’m hoping. I have listened to KLRC 90.9 FM encourage and report on “Paying it forward”. I am inspired by both that segment and their Christmas wishes fulfillment segments. One couple blessed me in particular. They made me want more of the life I saw in them. It is called being grateful for blessings, trusting God to continue to provide, and choosing to pass along a little of their own blessing; even when they need what they give away. It is turning a warm heart of caring into a life on fire that warms and blesses those around it.
This spirit of generosity is evidenced by the many many warm hearts who shared food, gifts, and money through their churches, business’, and Salvation Army bell ringers in Siloam Springs before Christmas. Often that kind of overflow is limited to Christmas or a few other special occurrences throughout the year. Occasionally, there is a rare jewel that is anything but normal. I have the desire to be like that.
What does “that” look like? A few weeks ago in Walmart a young mother was trying to buy formula, diapers, and other essentials for her baby. There was a problem with her food stamps. When they did not scan the woman became distraught. Her baby must have food. It was Christmas Eve. There was no one to call then or tomorrow. It might not be possible to contact anyone for a solution for more than four days.
The third person behind her had a warm heart and Christmas cheer. He piped up, “I’ll pay for her stuff. How much is it?” The cashier responded and the man quietly gasped. Between the would be St. Nicholas and mother another man jumped in; a recipient of KLRC’s Christmas Wishes. “I’ll split it with you?” “That would be great”, came the response. Problem solved, merry Christmas, right? Not quite.
The young woman knows the man behind her. She knows he has needs, too. What she cannot hear is the words of the man’s wife echoing through his mind. “We have been blessed so much. We need to share a little of our blessing with others.” She would agree, he knows. They should help, out of the recent blessing they had received just a few days prior. They still had many needs, but the most pressing needs were met and they had enough to share; if they were willing to do without a bit themselves. They were. He would not take no for an answer. Problem solved.
If our own needs are not met, we are rarely willing to lend aid. Often, people will not help much even if they have surplus beyond their needs. Who knows what need may occur is the sentiment. Better to be careful than sorry. If you don’t look out for number one, who will? You know what I mean.
I was standing in the below freezing cold when I heard this story. Yet, I have rarely felt warmer. The calm realization that a warm heart reflected in action fires up life covered my soul like a pitcher of warm honey poured over my head. That is real life! Nothing superficial, nothing expected in return, no recognition wanted. I heard the testimony of one who had been blessed and now experienced “paying it forward”.
Never think your random acts of kindness do not matter. Never doubt the truth of Luke 6:38, “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over”. All those sparks eventually create a fire. They create lives hot from the core outward. One person at a time is how a generous community of blessing is built. Do you want it?