Responses to the "Daily Act" Challenge
Every day I send out a Daily Inspirational Email to around 500 people, which includes a brief Spiritual Meditation, Bible Reading, and Life of a Saint. Recently, I have included a section called “DAILY ACT” challenging people to do some random act of love and kindness which reflects our faith. Too often we have good intentions, but don’t follow through to loving actions. Our faith is meaningless if it is not incarnated in life! Ultimately, when we come face to face with our Lord on the final Day of Judgment, He will look at our lives, see how we have lived, and then reveal to us what we truly believed.
Think about this – if someone doesn’t know you, and simply watches you day in and day out for a month – they observe how you treat others, take note on how you spend your time and money, watch what you do at home, at work, and at play, monitor how you treat your family, your friends, different strangers, and even your enemies – what will they see? Will they witness a living out of the faith we proclaim as Orthodox Christians? Will they see a conscious attempt of loving, kind, and compassion acts with everyone we encounter?
Remember, good intentions aren’t good enough. St. James challenges us to “Be doers of the word, and not only hearers… What does it profit if someone says they have faith, but don’t have works? Faith by itself, if it doesn’t have works, is dead… Show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith BY my works.”
From the Daily Inspirational Emails, I’ve asked people to share how they’ve blessed, inspired, and encouraged to live out their faith. Here are some responses from the past two weeks:
I talked to an old friend who has been on disability for 3 years. We hadn’t talked in years but we reconnected for about an hour and I got a chance to tell him that I loved him. Time is going by too fast I can’t believe how long it had been. What an uplifting thing to have done!
I sent an email to someone who really hurt my family and asked him for forgiveness. If I see him in person I will do the same. This was hard to do. It took me a few days to swallow my pride, my lingering anger, and write him. But re-reading the Bible verses you sent made it clear what I must do, and made it easier to do.
I bought a large box of granola bars from Costco and put them in a central area for the whole office.
I sent a long overdue monthly pledge for OCMC Missionaries Stephanos and Alexandria Ritsi.
I put some treats in my mailbox for my mailman as an act of kindness. He was so appreciative and wrote me a note. It did make me feel good!
I went to see an elderly man in a nursing home, and then I visited someone in a psychiatric hospital. In the intervening days, I mailed a card and made a few special phone calls.
I made a handmade card for my neighbor, who takes such good care of me.
I recently found out that a former patient whom I and several people in my department knew had passed away. He came to therapy off and on over the past 15 years. We haven't seen anyone in his family for years, and I only spoke to his sister on the phone once. I looked her up and called her and offered my condolences. I got seven of us from our department to write a message in the card and I know it must have been very special for his sister to read, and I think the therapists felt touched or privileged to be able to share something. This was something that I might have thought about doing on my own, but I feel the encouragement and inspiration of the “Daily Act” made me pick up the phone to call the sister and get the card. Too often I "feel so busy" and just don't make the effort to do something like that.
I wrote two cards in one. One to my mother, thanking her for caring for me throughout my life. I am blessed to have a mom who is always there, in complete understanding and love through everything. The blessedness I feel gets stronger as I get older and my understanding about what she has done increases. The second part of my card was to my great aunt, who passed away when I was seven. To write to her now is not something I would have thought to do, but the very act of writing brought forth the honor and love I have for her.
A friend gave me a pound of coffee for nothing...she knows I like coffee. In turn, I remembered her mom wanted to know about what the priest does with the prosfora after she makes them. I immediately downloaded the info and sent it to her! I felt good about it.
I wanted to give money to someone in need. Indeed I found a young, pregnant woman in need of a gift, so I went up to her, slipped it into her hand and said "I want you to have this" and left. She said "thank you" without looking into her hand. I felt the joy!
I walked by a 7 year old kid the other day outside of Sam’s asking for money. I ignored him and got in my car and started to drive off. But I kept seeing the kid in my mind. I parked and went back and said “Hey big man, what are you raising money for?” He said for a basketball tournament in Florida. I gave him one of the two twenties I had in my wallet.
A young girl with a small child told me that her son had a reaction to something he ate and he was very sick. She needed $28 for a prescription but didn’t have the money. I had $30.00 in my wallet and gave it to her. Through that, I was blessed to receive the joy of the Resurrection.
I was at the bank trying to sort out an issue regarding mortgage, escrow accounts, homeowners insurance, etc... basically, a stressful mess that could have been the source of me losing my temper. However, the banker that helped me was kind, friendly, helpful beyond what was expected, and had a sense of humor that helped diffuse the situation. When the issue had been resolved, I took the time to thank him, compliment him, and also to write an email to his supervisor advising him on a job well done by his employee.
From the daily devotional emails, I’ve been inspired to speak with a friend and also a relative and tell them "I Love You". I’ve also consciously held a door open for people. And when I'm in the express checkout line, I let the person who has just one or two items go ahead of me.
Too often we have good intentions, but don’t follow through to loving actions. Our faith is meaningless if it is not incarnated in life! May we all leave the church today LOOKING for opportunities to do some kind and compassionate acts of love to others. And let us do them quietly, anonymously, humbly, all for the glory of God!
And if anyone wants to receive the Daily Inspirational Emails, please let me know!
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Holy Land Pilgrimage 2019