WARNING: This is a no-edit zone…
We’re believers. We do believe. We praise. We pray. We appreciate God’s investing in us and in the details of our lives. We understand that His investment isn’t lip service, His love is unconditional and He wants to be involved in all of our lives—the big things and the little details.
Some spend most of their lives looking for security only to discover it doesn’t exist. But believers know it does exist—in Him, and it’s the kind of security that lasts longer than a lifetime, which on the grand scale of things is a twinkling.
I used to wonder why Christians didn’t get all bent out of shape about things going on in the world. It seemed to me they should be more verbal and involved and aggressive. There’s a part of me that still feels that way, to be honest. (Judgment in action.) But that part is tempered by the part of me that grasps they’re way ahead of me on the spiritual ladder. They’ve gotten it—that twinkling and that while life is a treasure and valuable, eternity is a lot longer and most valuable. But I digress.
What’s really on my mind today is that we petition God for many things, big and small. We do so for ourselves, our families, our friends and strangers. Often for people we haven’t seen before and never will again. Maybe it’s a look in their eyes, or a slump in their shoulder, and we gather that they feel burdened or worried or afraid. Maybe overwhelmed or under appreciated. We petition for blessings for many reasons.
What I wonder if we petition for enough is to be a blessing.
As foot soldiers, we each have the opportunity to be a blessing to others. Sometimes we seize that opportunity, sometimes we let it pass by, thinking we’re being silly or overly dramatic or maybe we’re disheartened by all the bad things we see happening around us.
It’s hard to see everything going on in the world—the corruption and hateful and just downright absurd behavior that flies in the face of all we hold dear—and not be disheartened. So we see many opportunities to be blessings to others and for any of a number of reasons, we ignore them.
One of those reasons that happens often is when we have a chance to say or do something that could be a blessing to someone else but we don’t take it because we think it’s such a small thing, it couldn’t possibly matter.
What’s a smile worth, anyway? What does saying thank you matter? Does a sincere compliment really qualify as a blessing?
It depends on the receiver. How badly do you need to see a smile? Hear a thank you? Need a compliment?
Frankly, some days any of those things are nice but not necessary. But there are times when any of the three might change an attitude or make your day. Might totally alter your perspective from one that is borderline despair to one of hope.
One thing I’ve noticed a lot in people is that for all our technology and social networking, there are tons of people suffering acute loneliness. Not just lonely people. Acute loneliness.
Their friends are all online people they’ve never met. Their sense of community is in cyberspace. When something horrific or wonderful happens, they look around and realize there’s no one “local” with whom to mourn or celebrate.
Don’t misunderstand. Online friendships are a treasure. A cyberspace community can be a real blessing. But we need real live interaction with others and in our communities, too. We need balance.
When we don’t have it, we will inevitably suffer bouts of acute loneliness. Doubt it?
How many times have you read where someone was dead for three days or a week in their own home before anyone knew it? You can bet that person had bouts of acute loneliness.
How much do think a smile or a kind word or a few minutes of conversation would have meant to him or her?
A smile is never just a smile, and a kind word is never just a kind word. And that’s my point. Outreach is important, yes. But so are the little blessings that can totally change a person’s day or their frame of mind. Smile at someone who feels the world has forgotten them, and you’ve been a blessing.
Little things, seemingly insignificant things, aren’t insignificant and they do matter. And standing on the other side of the fence, it’s hard to tell when they most matter.
So in asking for blessings, whether for others or ourselves, it seems important to also ask to be a blessing. We don’t always know the difference we make to others, but He knows. If we’ll act when urged, no matter how silly or small a thing it seems, He will guide us and use us to show His love to others, and we’ll be more balanced. That’s a win/win situation.
Bottom line, it’s a blessing to ask to be blessed and to ask to be a blessing. There’s a special joy in doing something good for another that you never experience doing for yourself.
So today I’m asking. Let me be a blessing…