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Lenten Meditation : Be a Joyful Gift to Others

My first thoughts about “being a joyful gift to others” were:

“It’s too hard to be cheery all the time!”  

“I’ve got too much on my mind!”

 “It’s going to seem so artificial!”

Then I began to consider the ways others are a joyful gift to me.  I thought of the Dollar Tree cashier who would greet me with a smile and discuss things we had in common.  A smile and a personal connection to our shared humanity — that was her joyful gift to me. And with intentionality, I can do this, too.  I can be a joyful gift when I listen attentively to an elderly friend share a life story; when I shared a free online birdwatcher’s course link and delighted my daughter-in-law; when I smile and ask a homeless person at the Dorsey Center how they’re doing today and if they enjoyed their meal; when I let someone know that they are a blessing to us; when I send a meal to a friend going through a tough time; when I become the “Uber" driver for the grandkids to fill in for their harried parents — and so on. No grand schemes. No drama.  Just small moments that bring a smile and relief and affirmation.  Our shared humanity as children of God.

I’ll end with a paraphrase of a quotation from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“Everybody can be a joyful gift to others.  You only need a heart full of grace.  A soul generated by love.”


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