Perhaps you’re familiar with my birthday tradition. The long and the short of it is that I’ve asked my family to forego birthday presents and instead spend the night of my birthday doing random acts of kindness all over town. I won’t go into all the details here, but you can read about one of our past R.A.O.K. adventures.
Here’s the thing … I’ve come to a few conclusions about this night that I nearly always dub “The Best. Night. Ever.”
1. Once a year is simply not enough. Oh, we’ll continue the birthday tradition to be sure. (I’m already generating my list of possibilities and my birthday isn’t for 11 months.)
2. Random Acts of Kindness are one way I obey God’s instruction for me as a believer:
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience ~ Colossians 3:12 ESV
Women of the Promise are women of compassion.
[Tweet “Women of the Promise are Women of Compassion. Practical cold weather Compassion Ideas”]
In 2014, I’m commited to being intentional about compassion. I’ve asked God to open my eyes, ears, and heart to opportunities where I can exercise compassion … even right here in my home, where that muscle sadly gets the least exercise.
I’m going to post at least monthly about ways we can practice being women of compassion.
I’ve joked lately about my #MNProblems. Honest to Pete, do you know how cold it is here in Minnesota? Cold isn’t even a good word to describe what it is here, and according to Randy the weatherman, next week it’s going to get … excuse me … colder! Are you kidding me? There’s cold and then there is COLD … as in MINUS 20 degrees Fahrenheit (and that’s without the wind factored into the equation)!
[If this is the last post you read from me for a very long time, it’s because I’m frozen. Please put me on a dolly and wheel me close to a blazing fire!]
I was running errands yesterday and with the windchill in the neighborhood of -30 something, I was horrified to see a homeless man, who appeared to have Down Syndrome, panhandling near my home. The mom in me (and sister of a brother with Down Syndrome) immediately assessed his attire. Trust me, these temps aren’t fit for man or beast, but I would feel better if he had the necessary attire.
Warm coat – check
Thick stocking cap – check
Boots – check
Warm mittens – check
But his bare neck was exposed and he wasn’t moving much. I could only imagine how his fingers and toes must have felt like pins and needles were stabbing his flesh, if he could feel them at all anymore.
I made a u-turn into Walmart and picked up a small pile of these babies to keep in my car …
Thermal men’s socks. You can buy these in packs of 2, 3, or 5 or more.
I also grabbed a scarf that was on clearance. I only bought one of these as it was a specific need for the man currently on my radar.
My regret … this little side trip cut into my schedule and by the time I finished at Walmart, I was running late, so I didn’t get him something hot to drink, which was also on my heart to do.
Have you ever been unbelievably, indescribably frozen? I can tell you that in my experience, if my head, hands, and feet are warm, I’m much more comfortable. I pray that was true for the man who received these items.
I’m not sharing this for atta-girls. Rather, my hope is that if you have an extra $1 or $5 in your purse, you might pick up some hand warmers the next time you’re at the store. Do you have some warm socks that your furnace-of-a-husband won’t wear because they make his feet hot? Dig them out and put them in a bag with the hand warmers.
If you live in a warm climate – well, God bless ya! You will have to find other ways to exercise compassion this month. But if you live on the frozen tundra (aka “The North”), then will you pray with me for opportunities to warm someone with Christ’s love and a little something to warm their fingers and toes too? [Tweet “Warm someone with Christ’s love & a little something to warm their fingers & toes too.”]
“And the King will say,
‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,you were doing it to me!’
“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say,
‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.
For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink.
I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing.
I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
Matthew 25: 40-45 NLT