By Carol Ann Hoard
Tuesday, thirteen members of our FBC Youth Group and I, along with our Student Ministry intern, Holly Strother, set out for a Mission/Service Day. We planned to cut flowers from the community garden, bake some cookies, make greeting cards, and take them to five people. We divided our
preparation time into three groups: flower cutting and arranging, cookie baking, and card making. The flower group had many, many flowers and only five jars, so we made extra arrangements using disposable cups. In the end, we had about fifteen arrangements of beautiful zinnias and black-eyed susans. The cookie baking group made monster cookies (that didn’t turn out quite like we planned). And the card making group made stickers to put on the flower pots. Holly and I came up with a random group of people, and started out on our mission to do some random acts of kindness with a map and a list of stops.
Right after we began our “tour,” we took a “detour” when I remembered a church member who had just lost her brother. So instead of following our planned list, we started with her. The Holy Spirit started working, or maybe it’s more correct to say that we became aware of the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We ended up going to so many houses, sharing the love of Christ with them through flowers and cookies, but most of all through a smile or a hug. We received even more love in return!
Many of our FBC young people know what it is like to suffer loss or loneliness. They have experienced it themselves. But Tuesday they spent time with people who have experienced the profound lost of their dearest loved ones, the ones with whom they had shared their dreams, with whom they had shared life in marriage for many, many years.
One man we visited was just returning from the cemetery where he had visited his late wife’s gravesite. We were so blessed to be able to encourage him with flowers and a cookie, and to remind him that he is not alone or forgotten. Our FBC Youth are learning and acting on the call of Christ to be a caring community of believers, walking alongside each other in both the valleys and the mountaintops of life.
On Tuesday, we set out to spread some simple cheer but what actually happened was of far greater significance. We gave and received love, hugs, smiles and a few tears.
Thank you, God, for a time to share your love and kindness with those around us.
Maybe next Tuesday we will get to the people on our original list!