'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come round where we ought to be..."
I rarely carry cash these days, but I do have three things in my front right pocket. One is our Grace Immanuel Lenten token, which says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind...Love your neighbor as you love yourself."
The second item is a penny, and the third is a little sharp-edged rock. The latter two things are there because they were gifts from a grandchild who is currently in the mood to bring me things. Obviously, the penny has little worth, and the rock is not even a smooth pretty one. Their value lies in being gifts from a child I love.
I stopped at a creek crossing in Cherokee Park yesterday, noticing another rider getting up to wipe away the water and mud from a fall. I asked if he was okay, and joked that I had fallen at the same place - pretty hard. After a few comments about our bikes and the dirty water we were standing in, I turned to ride away. He yelled after me, "Hey, thanks for stopping." I had not really done anything, but the interaction must have helped him recover a bit.
One of our Lenten practices in the "Keep Calm and Live Lent" commitment is to do a random act of kindness for someone every day. At the close of last Sunday's message on the Woman at the Well, I urged the simple act of giving someone a glass or bottle of water. I am hearing some good stories from you about buying meals or coffee for strangers, and other creative good deeds. To a person, you are saying that it lifts your spirits. Who knew? Giving feels good!
Our gifts do not have to be elaborate or expensive. The penny and rock that I carry mean something because a little girl thought to give them to me as signs of love and relationship. So it is with our little gifts to others and God. "Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free."