Matthew 25:35-40 (NIV)
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
It was 1993 and Dianne, a manager for a London, Ontario business, took a leave of absence to welcome her first child into the world. She lived in a nice apartment, worked at a job she loved, had a husband who cared about her and now excitedly set about to live the beautiful dream with their baby daughter.
Dreams die and within eight months Dianne found herself frightened and threatened. She fled to a Women’s Shelter taking her baby and a bag of baby clothes.
When she was able to safely return to her home, her estranged spouse had taken everything of value. Gone were all the photos of the past eight years of her life. The furniture had been taken, including the lovely baby furniture, silverware, bedding, tea kettle, everything.
Dianne suddenly found herself destitute, and because a number of the items her estranged husband left with were on credit cards in Dianne’s name she was now deeply in debt, without a job, or a home.
As Christmas approached things were bleak for Dianne.
Not far away, a group of bank employees were puzzling over their own dilemma. They were searching for a way to make their own Christmas more meaningful and had decided they needed to help someone.
A marvelous caseworker looked through her files and knew this bank group could be just the right match to give service to Dianne and her baby. So a phone call was made and Dianne was asked if she would consider allowing an unnamed group of employees provide her with Christmas gifts. Dianne responded she would be appreciative of anything they gave her.
She was then asked about her favorite perfume and if she had towels and the clothing sizes of herself and her toddler. The representative asked her if she could name anything in particular that she really wanted. Since she did not have a vacuum cleaner, pots and pans, ironing board or a dozen other items we might consider basic, it was a simple chore to provide a request. Dianne said above all else she would really like a tea kettle for herself and any kind of toy for the baby that could come apart and be put back together again.
Gaining insight from the representative and taking the request into consideration, the employees made their decisions. They supplied the basics and then went overboard. Among the gifts was a lovely tailored new green suit for Dianne. Tears filled Dianne's eyes as she took in the lovely array of presents and joy filled the small apartment that Christmas as they opened the many gifts!
Each time she wears the green suit her face lights up with the memories and good feelings she had toward the employees of a branch of Canada Trust. She smiles and remembers the beautiful story of how she received the suit!
The bank employees were not there to see the lovely smile, a direct result of their actions. They never met Dianne or the baby, yet their gesture of good will in December of 1993 was still rippling out as Dianne’s story is read even 2012. The ripples we make, every action, every word of ours can affect people around us.
We are each capable of changing the world around us!
God blesses us as we share positive news between one another. The harmony of the universe increases, with each random act of kindness, with each simple or tiny good deed, with every act of heroism!
May we each endeavor this Christmas season to do service for others with every opportunity! Whether we are sharing a warm friendly smile, opening a door for another human being, slowing to allow another car into our lane, or giving a homeless person a blanket, we are making a positive difference in this world and the ripples will reach far and wide and will continue and continue.
Dear Lord we pray today that we would strive to make positive ripples. Help the things we say and do bring honor to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.