I just came in from my morning walk.
My devotions led me to this.
Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out. Hebrews 10:24 The Message
This morning God gave me a word about hand outs. God told me “I am all about hand outs.” Hand out, you see, is another way of saying Grace.
These hand outs come in countless ways on many levels. The hand out that shapes all of the others is, of course, the free gift of life and abundant live and eternal abundant life we know in our friend Jesus.
That particular blog is still being written after millennia so I am going to just revel in it but not write about it. Today.
Instead I am keenly aware this morning of the abundance of hand outs that emanate from those who have been born again from the First Hand Out.
We could hardly walk in our church building yesterday for all of the coats, gloves, backpacks, knit caps, paper towels, groceries, “feminine hygiene products” (there were CASES of these at my feet as I preached yesterday. They brought power to my sermon), and more that flow through and from us to hand out as acts of love and grace.
But that isn’t what I want to share this morning either.
Last night a friend went out of his way to share with me that verse from Hebrews that I quoted earlier. It was in my dreams. I awakened this morning to its song.
This weekend a friend shared an inventive encouragement he gave runners in the St Jude Marathon. Several tens of thousands of runners out there saving the lives of children and striving for the finish line.
Another friend told me of having a “just be kind” table tent on the desk in her classroom. The students were at odds with each other one day. One of them came to her desk, took the tent and held it before her classmates, and said “do this.”
The football team at Lexington High School gave a kid who lives with cerebral palsy a signed football and a standing ovation. They didn’t win many games this year but can now proclaim a winning season!
I was visiting in the hospital yesterday and a friend came in with hugs, a card of encouragement, and good cheer.
A grizzled old, much accomplished, musician who hadn’t been in a worship service in fifty years led the singing yesterday. Last night he called me to say his heart was at peace and “let’s get started on next week.”
A friend bringing an award winning carrot cake two hundred miles. And a love and smile that couldn’t be bought. Only given.
Sweet words. Warm hugs. Gentle actions. On the internet. And in person. Beyond counting. Hand outs.
Hand outs. Grace. So freely given. So easy to overlook in a world that so easily distracts us.
So that brings me to what I want to share this morning.
This morning my deepest prayers are that we will get inventive in seeing the hand outs. You are already overly proficient at the grace giving. Be encouraged as well by the grace seeing. They are flying around us in numbers beyond counting. People are changing the conversation in profound ways. And it is highly contagious!
As I sit here warm hearted and moist eyed I can attest.