Yesterday I was grocery shopping in Aldi with both kids. We were in the meat department and the children were buzzing around this poor woman like bees swarming a hive! I asked the children to please stand by the cart – so they did.
The woman smiled and said “it’s okay, I have 3 of my own, I know how hard it is.” I apologized and said “well, you are here without them so you deserve a moment of silence and not my kids bothering you. Enjoy your moment.” We both laughed and smiled and then I finished my grocery shopping.
When we got in line there was long row of poinsettas by the cash register being sold. This same woman happened to be in line in front of us and she continued to watch my interactions with the children and smile at me. And I watched her as she picked up one poinsetta after another. I admired them and said how beautiful they are.
She checked out. I checked out. And as I began to bag my groceries…she walked up to me with a poinsetta in hand and said “this poinsetta is for you. I can see that you sacrifice a lot for your children, you need to do more for yourself. You deserve this.”
I was floored, surprised and overwhelmed. A stranger is giving me this beautiful flower for no reason! I didn’t deserve it. I hadn’t done anything special to receive it. And there I stood holding a poinsetta – humbled by her words of praise.
I wanted to give her something in return – but I had nothing to give her (offering her some bagels or green beans didn’t seem appropriate! lol!) So I received her gift and out the door she went and the children began asking 100 questions: “Why did she give it? Do you know her? What did she say?…” I just smiled from ear to ear and said, “She’s a kind woman, we need to be like her.”
When Jesus sent his disciples out in Matthew 10:8 he commanded them “Freely you have received, now freely give.” This poinsetta whispers this verse to me. I did nothing to receive it. I received it freely.
This holiday season, you have received the love of Jesus freely. Now we must give it away. It starts with a smile, a kind word, a hug, maybe even a gift. Not just to those you truly do love in your family and friends – but even to strangers. Freely give the love of Jesus to everyone around you!
Hebrews 13:1,2 says “Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”
Give a random act of kindness today! Who knows as Hebrews 13: 2 says, you may even bless an angel!