…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
(Matthew 5:16, NIV)
Tess, my yellow lab, hears it before I do and runs to the window barking. Her response is more urgent than the usual ruckus aimed at dog walkers and taunting squirrels. This is a full-blown, red-alert, “Hurry! Let me out! It’s time!”
I read her obvious signals and drop what I’m doing to open the door.
Tess runs to the edge of the yard and sits patiently. She waits hyper-alert and expectant. Her tail quivers with excitement. Her head cocks as she listens intently. As the familiar rumble gets nearer and the target appears in view, she barks frantically, “Over here! Over here! Over here!”
See, every afternoon the UPS truck comes into our neighborhood. Personally I think the daily arrival of the big brown truck is fairly exciting because it means something fun could be on its way to me—like a book or clothes I ordered, or even a present.
But to Tess, our UPS driver brings something waaaaay better than packages. He brings dog bones.
And every day—whether he has a delivery for us or not—this driver stops at our house to give Tess a Milk Bone. The other day he even backed down the street because he wasn’t turning our way and didn’t want to overlook his furry, frantic friend.
This routine makes Tess so happy and it tickles my heart as well. The man’s kind gesture is a bright spot in my day. Now I too look forward to his daily visit.
More than that, his example shows me how a simple yet faithful act of kindness can make a big impact. Something we may brush off as “no big deal” can encourage someone just at the moment they need encouraging, or lift their spirits just when they need lifting.
Jesus tells us this, “Let your light shine before others.” (Matthew 5:16) I hear Him saying, “Don’t THINK about being salt and light. Don’t TALK about it. BE salt and BE light!”
The apostle Paul concurs: “So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, The Message)
In my translation Paul says, “Take a few moments to set down your concerns for someone else’s. Notice those around you . . . because we’re in it together.”
There are a million ways we can encourage one another, build up hope, shine a light, sprinkle salt—and toss out “God biscuits.”
Unfortunately selfless acts of kindness and encouragement don’t happen naturally—at least not for me. They require conscious thought and intentional effort.
But how hard it is to send a card. Call a friend. Chat with the checkout person. Put a note in your child’s lunchbox. Look the homeless person in the eyes and say, “Good morning, God bless you.” Connect with another in a way that says, “I see you.” And just be present.
Look at the impact we could have and how we glorify God in the process!
I don’t know the UPS driver’s name. I don’t know if he’s a Christian. And I don’t know if he has a dog of his own. But I do know he is the only delivery driver who stops faithfully to give Tess a biscuit. The others drive by, busy with their work, leaving Tess befuddled by their passing yet drooling for a dog bone.
The driver’s example makes me ask, what kind of Christian will I choose to be? One who pauses to offer a “biscuit” to the hungry and waiting … or one who keeps going?