So what would you do on your 24th birthday?
Society says go out enjoy yourself, party it up. I recently have been getting this feeling that people no longer believe that there is any goodness left in the world. People often say that when someone does something kind for you there is always a catch, something that person wants in return.
But what if a group of Christians set out to actually want to do random acts of love in order to prove that idea all-wrong. What if for a whole day to celebrate a birthday a group wouldn’t focus on the person whose birth it is but rather, focus on doing something to please their God so all glory would point to Him. That is what a group of friends decided to do on Dec 26th, 2011; they set out to radically proclaim that love does exist and there is a God who loves the world with such a consuming love that man cannot even comprehend it.So what exactly did we decide to do? We set out to do 25 random acts of kindness in celebration of the 24 years that God had blessed me with an opportunity to serve Him and one for the future year that He has given me.
The mission had 3 purposes; Firstly to remind us as a group that acts of love/kindness is something that we often reserve to a day or two a week when we have service prepared or set out to do something as a group. However, as Christian’s acts of love shouldn’t be set for certain times but done always to reflect and shine Christ when the opportunity presents itself. Secondly, the purpose was to open our eyes as a group to persons that we often don’t notice on a day-to-day period. Thirdly, just to shock people in NYC with so much love that they ask why is this done and then present us with an opportunity to share with them the love of Christ.
Honestly to set up 25 Random acts of Kindness was rather difficult because we wanted to target every people group possible that often go unnoticed and unappreciated. I wish we could say that we completed the whole 25 but it probably would have took a full day and we didn’t get the day started until about 4 pm so we completed about 14 of 25. However, we are planning to repeat this event not just for a birthday but to raise people awareness to the above mentioned purpose. Below are the 25 acts of kindness that we were able to set up. We were a group of about 10 who set out to do the following:
1) The Po Po- So often times police officers and members of law enforcement have a negative image for many of us. In NYC many of them stand out in the cold and have to direct traffic.
Objective: Go to your local Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks and buy a 5 dollar gift card for a police officer who is standing outside in the cold. Approach them with the gift card and tell them thank you for the service and here is a gift card to buy yourself a cup of coffee.
2) Say I Love You- Our parents often don’t hear how much we love them often enough so we figure we would let them know how we feel.
Objective:Call your parent randomly today and tell them you love them.
3) Can I Get You a Bite?: You know that person who we often walk by that asks for change and we just go on with our days ignoring them? Objective: Find a person in need that is on the streets or laying around somewhere and offer to take them to get something to eat. While with them be sure to tell them that Christ has sent you today to bring him/her food and this food is a gift from Him.
4) Our Local Clerics
Objective: Our priests are often heavily worked and under appreciated, go now and buy your local priest a small gift for Christmas to show your appreciation.
5) You are Fearfully and Wonderfully made.
Objective: Go to restrooms and stick post-its all over the mirrors and
fill them with messages saying for Girls: Don’t worry about how you look, you are wonderfully and fearfully made. For Guys: Smile Jesus loves you.
6) The Forgotten Old Friend:
Objective: Call up an old friend that you haven’t talked to in a long period of time, and who might be in need of some love during this holiday season. You’d be surprised at how much they would appreciate the call.
7) Always in a Rush?
Objective: Take a breather and throughout the day let someone cut in front of you at a check-out line somewhere or maybe if you feel really kind, let someone cut you off on the road without you having road rage 🙂
8) Let me snap a shot!
Objective: Ever wanted someone to take a picture of your group and been too embarrassed to ask? Well, set out to find people who would appreciate the group photo and offer to take their picture. DON’T BE CREEPY.
9) Missing a quarter?
Objective: Have you ever went to a soda machine and not had the right amount? Go to random soda machines and leave enough change for a free drink for someone. Leave a message saying please accept this random act of kindness. Leave a small message from Jesus for them.
10) The Greatest Act of Kindness: The Gospel!
Objective: Interview people about their New Years Resolutions and share the Gospel with them. Help them realize that with Christ is the best way to start the year.
11) Hold the Door:
Objective: Gentleman are considered rare sights in NYC (unicorns almost!) but we wanted to change that. With a smile, hold the door for someone coming into a building.
12) I’ll Say a Little Prayer for Youu..(..foreva and eva..) :
Objective: Take some time out today to stop everything you are doing and say a prayer for someone you haven’t prayed for in quite some time. Option: Set up a Prayer stand with the message “Come on over and say a prayer with us”!
13) Sibling Love:
Objective: Take the time out of your day to call your brother or sister. Have none? Refer to act 6 or 2.
14)The Guy Right Behind You:
Objective: Go to a drivethru at a coffee shop or anywhere, and pay for the guy behind you! Leave a message with the cashier saying that “This was a random act of kindness and that Jesus Loves you!”
15)You are Truly Loved!:
Objective: Buy some roses and guys give them out to grandma’s saying you are truly loved by Jesus and here is a rose from Him. For girls, you can hand them out to younger women telling them you are truly loved by a great God and here is a reminder from Him.
16) A Hug Makes a World of a Difference
Objective: Give a hug to a co-worker, friend, or family member, anyone who is in need of a hug. Nothing beats a good hug.
17) Not a Fine but Jesus thinks you Fine:
Objective: Go to random parked cars and leave a message saying, “ Don’t worry this isn’t parking violation, but just a message to let you know that Jesus loves you and that you are always on His mind.”
18) Birthday Cards for Elderly people in Nursing Homes:
Objective: Write birthday cards using Isaiah 46:4, Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you
19) You Decide!
Objective: Open your eyes to a need somewhere in front of you. One of us saw a woman who was carrying a stroller down the steps of a subway and offered to help. We often don’t see the need in front of us.
20) Joy to the World!
Objective: Sing Christmas Carols or hymn to bring joy to the world.
21) Can I say something touching to you?
Objective: At dinner, turn to the person next to you and tell them how they have touched your life, or something that you admire about them.
22) You have influenced me!
Objective: Write a letter to someone who has made a large impact on your life in a positive way. Mail it to them or give it to them!
23) Thank you!
Objective: At dinner, write little notes thanking your waitress or waiter for their service. We planned ahead and bought them a thank you card and each wrote a little message on it. Our waitress was so touched by it.
24) Repeat your Fav!
Objective: Repeat your favorite act!
25) 25 today, a Lifetime tomorrow:
Objective: This doesn’t just end with 25 random acts of kindness today for a birthday, but is the start of a life time of acts of kindness…to the point that they are no longer random to you, but just part of your daily walk with Christ.
I truly pray that we can have random moments throughout our days where we look to put a smile on someone’s face with a random act of Love.