The young man with eyeglasses too big and mismatched socks under his sandals stood on the median of the busy road this afternoon. I tried to assess his situation, as I eyed him a few car lengths ahead of me. I felt sad that such a young man would need to beg on the street. As I think back, he wasn’t actually begging. He was simply holding a cardboard sign that said, “Kindness brings karma,” or something like that.
I was in the left hand turn lane and the light had just changed, giving me a green arrow. Cars moved on ahead of me as I hurriedly scrounged around my purse for a bill of some kind. I found a dollar, called him over and put it in his hand. Quickly, before I even knew what was happening he looked at me, gave back the dollar and told me he wasn’t homeless—but thanks for being a kind person. He stuffed something into my hand along with the dollar bill. It was a ten dollar bill! On the back of the bill a note was taped that read, “Random Acts Revolution.”
That little event was certainly random and it made my day. I put this ten dollar bill in my pocket so I could “show and tell” this story to everyone I spent time with today. This young man’s actions got me thinking… Can a simple act of kindness really begin a revolution? Our world certainly needs a kindness revolution. That is not what I usually experience on a typical day in traffic. Certainly, a kindness revolution has to start somewhere. Why not with a ten dollar bill? I’ve heard of numerous people purposely doing random acts of kindness and have always been inspired by their deeds—I’ve just never been “all in.”
I began to feel giddy as I thought of ways I could “invest” this ten dollars by “paying it forward.” I’ve never actually taken a day to specifically focus on “random acts of kindness.” However, this one young man’s action inspired me to do just that tomorrow. I could pay for some someone’s groceries, a meal, some coffees, a haircut (yes I’d have to add to the bill.) I will pray about the opportunities and hope the recipients will be likewise inspired to “pay it forward.”
This is not a new idea. Jesus taught this concept many years ago. The scriptures are numerous that teach these truths. One truth is that Jesus went about doing good, and so we will do the same as we follow him. Secondly, whatever we give because of what we have been given by God—we will be blessed. We can never outgive God. Consider these verses:
You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached– how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. Acts 10:36-38
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Acts 20:35
I’ll let you know how the day goes, but I’m confident that God will be happy about this plan, and I will be too. If you are so inclined, consider a random act of kindness you could practice today—and do it! Let Jesus’ example and teaching be your direction and inspiration, praying for opportunities to let others know he is the reason we even know how to give.
As you practice a random act of kindness, feel free to post a comment about the experience.