Last week was the busiest week of the year for me. Our local association hosted our annual LoveLoud event in which 100 volunteers from different churches served in numerous construction projects, community service opportunities, and evangelistic outreach efforts. It’s a fantastic event. It’s also an exhausting event.
I worked on LoveLoud-related tasks for at least 14-15 hours per day for six consecutive days. By the time I laid down on Friday night, I had worked nearly 90 hours in less than a week. On Saturday, I spent most of the day preparing our house for an outdoor Independence Day party scheduled to take place that evening. On Sunday morning, I rose early to begin serving as an Interim Pastor of one of the churches in my association. On Sunday afternoon, I crashed. Hard.
I’m not sharing this information to garner your sympathy. I’m sharing it so that you’ll fully understand the impact of what happened on Friday evening. I arrived back home well after dark, exhausted from the week’s activities. As I sat down in my recliner around 10:00 PM, my wife asked me what tasks I needed to complete before our Saturday night gathering. I rattled off several items, each requiring a significant amount of energy that I did not have. The final thing on my list was to mow the lawn.
My wife interrupted, “No, you don’t need to do that.”
I insisted, “Yes, I do. It’s been a week since I mowed, and the grass is too high. It needs to be mowed before tomorrow night’s party.”
That’s when she proceeded to tell me that someone had already done so. During a casual conversation earlier in the week, this fellow church member heard that I would need to mow our lawn before the party on Saturday. He realized that I would be exhausted, so he contacted my wife and told her that he would mow it on Friday.
When my wife shared this news, I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t get a little teary-eyed. While I had been busy coordinating random acts of kindness for our LoveLoud volunteers all week, little did I know that I would soon be the recipient of a random act of kindness myself. It was a tremendous blessing.
Small, random acts of kindness like this can make a huge impact. I’ll never forget this small gesture that my fellow brother in Christ did for me. You can make a similar impact in the lives of others as well. Last week, I wrote about outreach ideas you can do with your church family. Today, I want to share a brief list of ten random acts of kindness that you can complete by yourself:
- Complete yard work for someone in need. My friend identified a need that I had. He knew that, given my current circumstances, it would be difficult for me to mow my lawn. He saw a need, and he met that need. You can do the same thing. Identify someone in a similar situation who cannot complete the yard work themselves. Perhaps it’s an elderly neighbor or a single mother. I have a feeling that your random act of kindness will have a similar effect!
- Pay it forward in a drive-thru. This one is a classic, but it is very effective. You can make someone’s day by paying for the order for the person behind you in line in a drive-thru. I’ve heard that many times they will, in turn, pay for the order of the car behind them. It’s a blessing that keeps on blessing!
- Provide free childcare for a date night. Perhaps you know a family with busy schedules. The parents rarely have an opportunity for a night to themselves. You can offer to watch their kids so they can enjoy a date night. No payment for your services should be accepted. If you want to go the extra mile, you can pay them to watch their children!
- Provide an outrageously generous tip to your server. When I say outrageous, I mean it. If you want to produce the desired effect of an unexpected blessing, the tip should be at least 50% of the total bill.
- Provide breakfast for your coworkers. Show up to the office with donuts or a homemade breakfast casserole. The menu doesn’t matter nearly as much as the simple act of showing your coworkers that you were thinking of them.
- Shovel your neighbor’s driveway when it snows. Here’s another classic but effective random act of kindness. My son and I have done this for our neighbors, and they were thrilled. They offered us payment, but we refused, and so should you!
- Share baked goods with offices. This act can be applied to many different office settings. Perhaps you choose to deliver goodies to your doctor’s office, the local fire department, or the police station. My wife has delivered surprise goodies to all of these locations and more.
- Insert coins in someone else’s parking meter. Look for an expired parking meter and drop a few coins in the slot. This random act of kindness is equally effective in a laundromat as well.
- Pass out cold water on a hot day. Fill a cooler with ice and bottled water, and head to a crowded outdoor location. You’ll be a tremendous blessing to those around you.
- Return empty shopping carts. This act of kindness can be completed in one of two ways. You can offer to return empty carts of individual shoppers to the stall. You can also walk around the parking lot of a shopping center or grocery store and return all empty carts that you find to the stalls. Either way, you will be a blessing.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. If you google “random acts of kindness ideas,” you’ll find many more ways to spread a little love in your community. As you do so, look for opportunities to share why you’re striving to be a blessing to others. The Bible calls Christians to love and serve others ultimately because Christ first loved us (1 John 4:19) and served us by giving His life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). Look for opportunities to serve, and also look for opportunities to tell why you serve!
Small acts of kindness can have a lasting impact. Who will you bless today?