Last Friday, I told the sad story of Sandra, a Grade 8 student in my school who had no friends. Although this didn’t normally seem to bother her, Christmas was different. She was keenly aware that no one would give her a Christmas present at school. She was so touched when I handed her a small gift.
I felt really good about the whole thing. It fills you with so much joy to brighten someone’s day. I hardly even noticed the gifts left on my desk by my own students. I was floating on the happiness of having made Sandra smile. I so completely didn’t expect what happened next…
As I excited my classroom at the end of the day, there was Sandra. She was smiling. Grinning, actually, from ear to ear. I didn’t notice the package in her hand at first, but when she raised it up towards me, I suddenly realized what this was about: Sandra was giving me a Christmas gift in return!
This time it was my eyes that were threatening to spill forth tears!
The gift was a tiny Bible. Not a complete Bible, but a book of Biblical excerpts. I have no idea where she got the book, but that single act of giving Sandra a Christmas gift taught me an invaluable lesson: A single act of kindness will be reciprocated.
Think about it: When you are feeling low and someone smiles at you, your response will often be to smile at someone else. And that person will in turn pass the smile along until one single smile has touched hundreds of people. When I set out to be nice to Sandra, I did so because I wanted her to feel loved and special. What I didn’t realize is that this would result in a seed of kindness being planted in Sandra’s heart. And as that seed grew, she passed it along to other people.
All it takes is for one person to be Jesus’ hands and feet. Someone has to begin. It doesn’t matter how small that first step is. We need to make it, and then trust that somehow, God’s Spirit will spread that one act to two, then those two acts to four, etc. Isn’t this how the Christian church was established? Jesus sowed seed into 12, those 12 went out and sowed seed that sprouted into a world-wide harvest!
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8 NIV)
As you go about your preparations this year for the celebration of the greatest birth in history, keep vigilent watch. Ask God to show you where you can sow that one seed of kindness, the same one that will sprout and produce two seeds, and then four, etc. Who knows? Before it is all said and done, the one little gift, that one plate of cookies, that one piece of holly, that one smile that you gave away this season in the name of the Lord could have worldwide results!
In His Love,