That's right, friends: it's time for another installment in the Friendly Friday series, inspired by Allison over at O My Family. Allison has challenged her friends and readers (who are friends she just hasn't met yet) to go out of their way to perform acts of kindness, and then share about their experiences.
We do this, not to boast, but to encourage one another, to "spur one another on toward love and good deeds" (Hebrews 10:24). It is through these small acts of kindness that we bring glory to God, and in these actions, the kingdom of heaven draws near.
Last week, Allison mentioned she had been struggling with her motives for doing good, wondering if she is doing good because it feels good or because it is good. Because of this, she said that this week she was going to be performing her act of kindness anonymously. To read about Allison's experience this week, click here.
I don't know if you know this about me, but I prefer to be kind in private. I would much rather sneak around and do something for someone who either doesn't know it was me, or doesn't know me at all--something about "do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret." I get such a kick out of knowing that, even if they wanted to, the receiver of my gift would not be able to reciprocate, except by giving to another (control issues, anyone?)
Friendly Fridays, from the very beginning, struck me as a great way to build community, and so, independently of Allison, I had decided that this week I needed to step out of my comfort zone and direct my kindness toward someone who knows it's me.
The other day I mentioned that Pal, Bubby, and I made some muffins. What I didn't tell you is that we made them with the intention of sharing. We finally used up that zucchini that's been sitting on the counter (the kids got such a kick out of shredding it in the food processor) to make zucchini muffins, and we also used up the banana that was past its prime (along with some others from the freezer) to make banana muffins.
We put some of each kind in a paper bag, with a card saying "happy fall" and indicating what kind each was, along with some ribbon. Then we set off for the neighbor's house to give them away. I envisioned me knocking on the door, and our neighbor answering, me giving her the bag with the muffins and us having a nice little chat about the latest in our lives, while the kids played with the neighbor's dog: a lovely, and friendly, scene, to be sure.
It's such a simple thing, isn't it? Sharing with others? Showing kindness? It's so simple, in fact, that a lot of times we forget how important it is. It's really not difficult, but how often do you go that little bit out of your way for someone else? How often do you lift your head up, out of your day to day existence, and look around at the others with whom you're sharing life?
It was a gorgeous day--sunny and 80 degrees--box elder beetles were buzzing everywhere. As we walked up the driveway, I was basking in the warmth of the sun's rays, and the kids were chasing fuzzy orange and black caterpillars as they zipped across the pavement. We walked across the street, knocked on the door, and waited.
Knocked again, and still nothing. No one was home, so we left the muffins on the porch. Well! That did not go according to plan. So much for non-secret kindness :) So much for the cozy little scene I'd imagined.
We walked up the hill to visit the goats and horse who live there, and then back home. Later, as I drove past the house on the way to karate, I noticed that the bright red bag was gone, so I'm pretty sure our neighbors found their treat--I hope it was our neighbors and not some wild creature. I don't know if they know it was us, but that's OK.
I am reminded of the saying, "we plan, God laughs." I can plan and scheme as much as I want about friendly Friday, or about any other area of my life, but in the end, it's God who calls the shots. We are called, not to be concerned with our own success or failure, but to be obedient to the Spirit's prompting. All we need to do is sow the seeds of love and kindness, in whatever form they may be. It's God's harvest to reap.
I hope that, through this blog post, you will be motivated to actively seek out ways to show God's love--please leave me a comment if you've been inspired.