“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” — Matthew 5:16 (NIV)
Last fall, my small group of primary caregivers—Shining Lights—adopted a local nursing home as a service project. Each year, the Pastor asks all group leaders to consider providing an act of kindness to the community. Many groups choose to partner with the church’s SERVE projects to clean up around an elementary school or at one of our local partners’ outreach locations.
As a leader, I know that although my group might enjoy taking part in those outdoor activities, the notion is unrealistic. Therefore, I usually encourage them to provide crafts for a disadvantaged group. In years past, the small group has made gift baskets for parents of disabled school-aged children.
But since no one could gather because of COVID-19 restrictions, I suggested the group do a letter-writing campaign for nursing home residents. They agreed, and after praying over each letter, I delivered them to the activity director, believing the anonymous notes would land in the right resident’s hands.
Aware of the letters’ success and the aftermath of isolation, especially as the holidays neared, I approached the director again. For Christmas, we wanted to give cards and a small gift to each resident. The director gushed over the new idea.
Then, I had a blast sharing her comments with the small group and ultimately spreading the season’s greetings to ninety of the community’s most vulnerable people.
In the end, the service was to me. My anxieties disappeared when I took the time to purchase Christmas cards, insert a personalized note, and place ornaments, handmade by one of our members, into each envelope. Indeed, it is more blessed to give than to receive.
Dear Father, help us forget about ourselves long enough to show Jesus to someone else.
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