Create a care package for someone. These can be lifesavers for some, or, at the least, incredible signs of kindness. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end, even when you didn’t ‘need’ one, you’ll know the impact. 

 Choose how you’ll complete today’s act:
Hate finding yourself caught without an umbrella, or a pack of tissues? Pack some to have on hand for when others are. Watch this video to see just how big an impact something even this small can have.   

Treat someone, just because they’re there and you can. Think of someone specific, and think of the things they love. Then get a hamper and fill it up.

Care for someone who needs it. Make a care package for someone in need – a rough sleeper you often pass, or someone you know who could really do with some essentials.

“Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.”
(Acts 28:1–2 NIV)

Your thought for today:

In our spare room my wife has a cupboard in which she keeps all kinds of twine, ribbon, gift-wrap, and presents… something for every occasion. Need to thank a teacher at the end of term? We’ve got something. Sorry to see someone leave? Grab something from the ‘farewell collection’. Just had a baby/operation/driving test/60th birthday? You’ll find an appropriate card and gift in that cupboard!

I tease Laura about it, but I’m actually a little envious. If it ever dawns on me to be generous or give a last-minute gift, it’s usually too late. The shops are shut or the moment has passed. Having planned ahead however, Laura’s always able to demonstrate ‘spontaneous’ kindness and care.

At church we recently studied ’kindness’. I found a verse which I don’t remember reading before where Paul, ship-wrecked and washed up on a Maltese beach, is cared for by locals who display what Luke called ‘unusual kindness’, drying their clothes on fires and providing shelter.

I imagine Paul’s boat wasn’t the first to run aground on that shoreline. Maybe the locals had a ‘shipwreck committee’ who planned for such eventualities with torches, canned food and hi-vis jackets?!

Because they were prepared they were able to display seemingly spontaneous care for someone in need.

Today’s challenge involves getting prepared for a future act of care.

So get ready now.

Maybe stock your car boot with blankets for street-sleepers next time there’s an unexpected frost?

Maybe put some money in your wallet to pay for someone’s shopping one day?

Maybe block an evening off in your diary to give late-night hot chocolates to staff coming off the late shift at your local hospital?!

Plan now… and then unleash some unusually kind care into the world!

Written by Paul Oxley
Recently voted 4th most important person in his house, Paul is married to Laura and is wrapped round the fingers of his two daughters. He planted St Mark’s MK a few years ago, is a Pause for Thought regular on BBC Radio 2 and clings to fading delusions of sporting grandeur.


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