Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Finding ways to do anonymous acts of love and grace (1 Peter 3:13-14)

SCRIPTURE: 1 Peter 3:13-14 (TM)
If with heart and soul you're doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you're still better off. Don't give the opposition a second thought.

Alexander de Seversky, U.S. aviator and engineer, was once visiting a fellow flyer in the hospital. The young man had just lost his leg. De Seversky, who had had an artificial leg for some time, tried to cheer him up. "The loss of a leg is not so great a calamity," he said. "If you get hit on a wooden leg, it doesn't hurt a bit! Try it!" The patient raised his walking stick and brought it down hard on de Seversky's leg. "You see," he said cheerfully. "If you hit an ordinary man like that, he'd be in bed for five days!" With that he left his friend and limped into the corridor, where he collapsed in excruciating pain. It seems the young man had struck de Seversky on his good leg!

Doing good sometimes hurts. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t panic. Don’t become disheartened. Shouldn’t it be enough reward simply to do the good deed? Must there be recognition or reward or acknowledgement?

In a spiritual discipline called “40-days of Prayer” the participants are encouraged to do a good deed – anonymous act of love. For the first few weeks it is a fun activity, but then it becomes a little more challenging and a struggle. One participant asked, “Should it be this hard?”

Try it and see what you discover. Hard or easy? The challenge is too often it is necessary to enlist the help of others which is a little tricky because no one is suppose to know what is being done. Maybe that is why it becomes hard. To do an act of grace without anyone discovering what we are doing.

After getting over the threshold of it being hard it becomes a challenge to finding ways to show love and grace and mercy. The field is wide open as to the people to whom such love can be shown, but the ways to express this love, grace and mercy becomes hard because it cannot be materialistic. It would be too easy simply to buy something, like flowers or candy, for someone, but to physically do something for someone else… hmmm, that is a little harder.

My favorite was paying the highway toll for the car behind me. Oh, by the way, after the 40-day experiment the participants couldn’t stop doing their acts of grace… it had become addictive!

Help us to find ways to love others in a meaningful and lasting way. 

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