A few days ago, I saw a countdown to Christmas on Facebook. I liked the photo as I momentarily judge humanity as entirely ridiculous for counting down to this day. Children understandably have this right, but why would we ever continue to do so as adults?
Yesterday I discovered a reason to do so. It isn’t the presents under the tree. It’s not the sometimes amazing and often dearly loved carols that are sung. It’s not a church service. It’s not any one single event. It’s the incredible excuse to randomly bless strangers in Christ’s name.
It started for me yesterday at noon when I went to eat at a fast food restaurant with about 15-20 people from my church. No big deal EXCEPT that my church has an annual tradition of “randomly” tipping someone $1,000 + what would be a normal tip. It’s a Christmas Eve tradition. (It doesn’t come out of the church budget, but each individual gives what God has put on their heart to give.)
This year they played with the tradition a little bit, and we went to a fast food restaurant where tipping isn’t the norm. The workers in the restaurant were carefully counted. Then after the meal, we called each worker from their task and gave $250 to those in the front of the restaurant and $125 to each cook. (In case you wonder why we discriminate against cooks. We don’t, but a late worker came in after we started giving the gifts, and we had to find a way to have enough money for everyone!)
Six workers radically experienced God’s love yesterday as some of them accepted gifts equal to a week’s take-home pay (if they are paid minimum wage). When we left that restaurant, the entire staff was smiling, cheerful and happy. Undoubtedly it will be an event that will not soon forgotten.
As for us, we were $1,250 “poorer”, yet infinitely more filled with joy!
Yesterday ended for me with Christmas caroling. The good old-fashioned kind where you walk down a street and stop at certain buildings to sing
over them the riches of God’s amazing love for the world. Because we have been doing this for three to four years, the awkwardness is gone for most of us. Now all we have is amazing joy and love to give away. The bells on my hat tinkled as I moved to the happy music. A homeless man pretended to conduct us as we serenaded a McDonald’s. It was an amazing evening of once again blessing random strangers.
I pray that each of us will take every opportunity possible to bless random strangers this Christmas season! We have a few days left. Let’s bless the unexpecting with a radical demonstration of God’s love!!!by