Dec 4, 2009

A random act of kindness...


Our church has started a tradition at Christmas time called, "You've Been Gifted". We have "business" cards available to pass out to folks we want to gift in restaurants or coffee shops. On one side, the cards say:

"You've Been Gifted. At Hudson Community Chapel we believe the greatest gift that God has given the world is Jesus. This gift for you is our way of sharing the gift of Jesus. We pray you enjoy it."

The other side has our church's website, service times, and location. (www.hudsonchapel.org)

The idea is to do this anonymously by having a waitress bring someone else's bill to you and leaving the church's card with them instead.

Believe me, with over 3000 folks attending our services each weekend, we are really not doing this to scout for new members. (We've had to turn people away for lack of parking spaces, and we have a shuttle service for members willing to park off-site to create more spaces.)

Last year our church received many thank you letters from those who had been gifted by members...and there were all kinds of heart-warming stories. This gesture simply flies in the face of what our world is all about, especially during a frenzied holiday season. People are stopped dead in their tracks to think that a stranger would pick up their bill. It's a random act of kindness that brings a smile to someone's face and softens their heart.

I can't wait for my husband and I to have the opportunity to do this. It will be a lot of fun. Perhaps I'll look for someone to gift who seems all frazzled and stressed out. Maybe a young family with whiney kids. Or perhaps a senior citizen who is alone. Blessing someone in the name of the One who has blessed us so much. Anonymously. Because of love. I can't wait!

18 comments:

Rose said...

I LOVE this idea. Not only as a church body doing it but to do it on you own. What a wonderful way to share Jesus with out making someone feel uncomfortable.
I am so glad you shared this. It really gives me something to think about.
Hugs,
Rose

Kaye Swain said...

What an awesome idea! :)

Jacquelyn said...

Rose, and Kaye: Our church just started it last year and we didn't get in on it. When I realized what it is all about I'm excited to do it this year...perhaps when hubby and I go out shopping and stop for something to eat. I so love this technology that allows us to share these ideas with one another. I saw a giveaway on someone's blog that had a Starbucks cup (with a gift card) and that gets me to thinking too...like Rose said...of something I could do on my own. God bless both of you earlybirds...you are so encouraging to me!

Wanda said...

Stories of "random acts of kindness" are the best, even if it's just giving $1 off coupons to someone at the grocery store, especially the elderly. I see evidence of increasing numbers of people in need at a food bank just up the road. Your church's gift cards are a wonderful idea...it would be so easy to incorporate it into our lives for "random acts of kindness" all year through.
Have a good weekend,
Wanda

Jackie said...

Hey Jacquelyn!

Thanks so much for stopping by Fresh Oil Today! and entering for the Christmas giveaway!! Hope you'll pop over for a visit again soon!

I love your site and love the idea of "you've been gifted". Gonna use that somehow this Christmas season.

Oh, I'm LYN!!! I rarely meet anyone with our spelling. We're so special aren't we! LOL!

I'll be dropping by for a visit often my new "LYN" friend!!

Merry Christmas and Sweet Blessings!
Jackie

smiles4u said...

I LOVE this idea. I love random acts of kindness. I love being the giver of these but have also been blessed to be the receiver as well. Either way, I am blessed. I think it's really awesome that your church does this. Do they only do this at Christmas time? Have fun in your random acts of kindness! Bless you for your big beautiful heart. Happy weekend! XX Lori

Pat said...

I love, love, love this idea. I know how I would feel if it happened to me...so greatful. How wonderful to show Gods love and to direct a person to church without being in their face. More should do this!

Jess said...

Thank you sweet friend for sharing this awesome way to share God's LOVE! I too have been on both the giving and receiving end of such acts of kindness, and from either direction my whole day was blessed!

I just got home from our church's TOYBOX Ministry where we turn our gym into a Huge Toy Store and provide Christmas for 370 children.
Parents select multiple gifts for their children which are then wrapped and tagged for each one!
I served in the fellowship area where parents come when they arrive.
There is food and socializing as we share one-on-one about the Greatest Gift ever given!
It breaks my heart how many folks go to church but have never asked Jesus to be their Savior.
What a treasure is our salvation!

Hope you have a good weekend...talk soon.
((HUGS!))

Judy said...

Wow!

What a great idea.

Jacquelyn said...

Wanda, I like the coupon idea! I just feel my eyes have been opened a wee bit wider this year to help me look around and see small ways to put a smile on someone's face...especially in these tough economic times. You are so right, we don't have to just do these acts of kindness at Christmas!

Jacquelyn said...

Welcome, Jackie! I love the way this blogging technology introduces us to so many like minded folks and the vast majority of people I've connected with are so encouraging and brighten my days regularly. Can't wait to get to know you better!

Jacquelyn said...

Hi Lori, yes I think the church just does this t Christmas time...but like Wanda pointed out, we can do these kinds of things on our own all year long! Blessings your way!

Jacquelyn said...

Pat, I agree. We don't need to aggravate people with debates and so forth...deep down inside God has placed eternity in the heart's of men, the scriptures say, and therefore know they have a need for something "more"...When we show Christ's love instead, even in these little ways, it can soften someone's heart. That's the first step, isn't it?
Blessings!

Jacquelyn said...

OH Jess! The Toybox Ministry sounds so wonderful. I love this idea too! I have had so much Christmas joy all my life, but for some reason this year I am becoming so aware of so many hurting folks and situations right under my nose. Every day I'm praying to get more outside my own little happy world and see others as Christ does. Hugs back!

Jacquelyn said...

I know, Judy. I can only imagine how it would feel to be blessed this way, and I can't wait to do it. I'm thinking we might get a chance this Sat. and I'm praying for God to lead us to the right situation!

Shirley said...

Oh wow! How fantastic is this! What a novel idea.

Jacquelyn said...

Hi Shirley! Yes, I'm hoping we get to do it this weekend...I'll let you know!

Rebecca said...

If the majority in your large church do this, it can't help but make a huge "statement" to your community! Have fun with it, Jacquelyn!

I like your profile picture, by the way!