Walking Our Faith: The power of small acts of kindness (column)
Walking Our faith
At 8 a.m. on Sunday a voice called up to me, “Suzanne, did you lose your wallet?”
“Yes!” I cried and hurried downstairs to the front door wearing my bathrobe and nightgown. I greeted the owner of the voice with an enthusiastic hug.
Amanda, heretofore a stranger, stood holding my driver’s license, with a tale to tell.
Generally, when I leave home, I grab my purse and go. For some inexplicable reason, on Saturday morning I grabbed my wallet and keys instead. This deviation from routine might explain why my wallet ended up on the side of Highway 9, by the Goose Pasture Tarn, after falling off the top of my car.
The divine appointment occurred when Amanda somehow noticed my dark brown wallet against the similarly colored road, pulled over, retrieved my wallet, and showed up on my doorstep the next morning.
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The few dollars and two cards the wallet contained weren’t irreplaceable. However, my grandmother’s engagement and wedding rings were.
One person making a choice that brings another person relief and gratitude. Little things often have great importance, but we don’t give ourselves enough credit for our power to impact the life of someone else.
I like to peruse “One Man’s Junk Summit County” a community board on Facebook filled with random humor and furniture for sale. Every so often it’s also a place where the power of one is multiplied exponentially.
Like the time someone posted on behalf of an elderly person who needed snow shoveled from their walkway. They offered a meager $15 for the job. Within ten minutes no less than fifteen complete strangers offered to shovel the walkway for free.
Or a couple weeks ago, when Eric Ojala, the pastor at Elements Church in Breckenridge, posted this message: “over the next month we want to help/serve/love people who could use some help for FREE! Examples might be shoveling a driveway for someone who can’t, moving things, a big fat hug, someone to talk to…we are good at listening, offering a ride (within the county), etc. We don’t have too many technical skills or cash but we do have awesome people, time, and a lot of love to give. Message me here or send me a PM. Also nominate someone you know who could use a hand.”
The response? Immediately people asked not for help … but to help.
The power of one can change the life of a stranger or change the world. One person. One simple act of kindness.
Two thousand years ago, one person came into this world and provided a master class in how to live a life of love and service. That one person changed the course of history. Yes, he is the Son of God. But Jesus knows the power of one person. Not the richest, or smartest, or strongest. He chose the outsider, the criminal, the poor, the weak.
Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, outcast from her village because she was an adulteress. Jesus saw past her past to the beauty within, when her own people wouldn’t speak to her. Because of her faith, he chose her to carry the news of the Messiah to her community.
He chose Saul, a man who had made it his mission in life to persecute Christians. Jesus saw past Saul’s anger. After one encounter with Jesus, Saul became Paul, a missionary so passionate for Christ that the letters he wrote from prison now comprise over half of our New Testament.
Jesus, doesn’t see our shortcomings, he sees our potential. He created us to do more than we ever imagined. He will use us to do small things with great impact. We only have to say yes. Open our hearts and minds to God’s love. And reflect his love back into our communities each day. Jesus isn’t interested in our past. He asks us to see the potential of our future when we cooperate in his plan for our lives.
One person. One divine, holy, compassionate, loving person changed the history of the entire world and gave us love and lasting hope. Jesus Christ, light of the world. Our peace, our love, our strength and salvation.
This power of one is boundless. And it changes our world for the better. Thank you, Summit County for proving this every day. Thank you, Amanda for taking the time to create a little miracle for me.
Suzanne Anderson is the author of “Love in a Time of War” and other books. You can reach her at Suzanne@suzanneelizabeths.com or facebook.com/suzanneelizabeths
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