Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9
A prayer to be a blessing to those around me and my community
Holy Spirit I get so wrapped up in my everyday problems and to-do lists I forget to pause and look at the world around me. I rush out in my car and don’t stop to say “hi” to my elderly neighbor. I see the trash someone has left behind at the nearby lunch table and I assume someone else will pick it up. I watch the mother with two kids struggling to get her groceries in the car and I think, “thank goodness that isn’t me.” Oh, how I know you keep whispering to me to stop and do your work. But I prioritize my list and sometimes you aren’t on it. LORD, I say I want to be a blessing to others and yet I let so many opportunities pass me by. Today, I will be that blessing. Today I will recognize the need to slow down, reach out, and do your work. I will be your mustard seed and help build your Kingdom into all it’s glory. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
One of my neighbors is a quiet, older gentlemen. He lives by himself in the largest house in our development. He and his old dog, Scooter, are fixtures in our community. And yet, most people probably don’t know that he supplies all the doggie poop bags for a dispenser in our neighborhood. For Christmas, he always gives me and my dog, Tucker, a box of our own doggie bags. You could say he’s in the dog poop ministry! An unlikely blessing to so many of us.
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
No matter how many Bible study groups I’ve been a part of or how many churches I have attended, the one thing about “ministry” people seem to fear is being called to give up all their possessions and move to the outback of Africa. And yet, Christ calls us to be a blessing starting in our own homes and neighborhoods. If all of us would just start there, imagine the transformation that would take place!
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. James 2:8
At the beginning of the Covid pandemic I was called to start what became The Joy Challenge. I invited my friends, family, Bible study groups, and neighbors to take part in a variation of Max Lucado’s effort to raise the joy level of 100 people over 40 days. About 20 people said, “yes!” It was fascinating to hear people struggle with the idea of being that tiny mustard seed who could affect others. Some said, “How can I do anything if I’m locked away in my house?” Others said, “But I don’t really know anyone.” While even others said, “I can’t afford to buy things.”
But the ideas began rolling in. Some started writing little notes to friends and neighbors. One lady painted smiley faces of all sorts on rocks and placed them in her yard. My walking buddy just started waving and yelling “hello” and “have a great day” to an endless supply of UPS, FedEx and Amazon drivers. Some had their kids write chalk notes out in front of people’s houses.
And me? I thought I had a great “in” on some toilet paper from China. When it arrived, the rolls were tiny travel rolls about 3” in diameter. After a good laugh I decided God wanted me to give these little rolls way so, I tied a note to all of them with a funny quote and randomly dropped them off at people’s doors along my walking route.
Months later one of those neighbors stopped me and said, “Aren’t you the lady that gave us that toilet paper roll? We saw you on our security camera! Thank you so much – we thought it was hilarious!”
It shouldn’t take a world-wide pandemic for us Christians to seek out ways to spread joy and be a blessing to our neighbors and our community. I’m re-committing myself, no matter the busyness of the day, to be on the lookout for ways to be someone’s blessing. It might mean I take an extra minute to roll my neighbor’s trash can in or I stop and pick up that plastic bag that’s rolling down the sidewalk. It’s a mustard seed. And I know each one I plant will help build His Kingdom.
If you want this too, add the prayer to your daily prayer list and watch and see how God works in your life!