It’s a rare person who doesn’t like chocolate, so this one is for lots of people around you. Wherever you go today, spread the love, chocolate style! You’re obviously going to need to work within your budget, but push the boat out and buy Fairtrade if you can.
Green: Buy a box or tub and leave it by the coffee machine at work, or at the school reception. Add a cheerful ‘help yourself’ note, with the hashtag #40acts (and your name if you want to encourage a response).
Amber: Arm yourself with chocolate and hand it out to those you meet as you go through the day.
Red: Keep an eye out and an ear open for God to prompt you about who to approach. As you offer them the chocolate, add an explanation about 40acts and see what conversations open up about Jesus.
“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” (Matthew 10:42 NIV)
The letter from the eye hospital said to turn up at 12.30pm. So, I arrived on time with my 18-month-old daughter who had some trouble in her left eye, and we waited.
By 2.30pm, we were straying dangerously close to nap time, and I had run out of the supply of snacks I brought to keep her entertained. I was irritable now and began to count the number of people in the waiting room who arrived after us yet somehow managed to leave before us.
When the doctor finally did see us, the consequences of a stranger in a white coat poking around the eye of a small, tired and hungry child were inevitable. The silent waiting area we returned to was now filled with my daughter’s loud screaming and tears. It felt like the room was glaring at me.
Then a kind lady appeared by my shoulder, reached into her bag and produced a chocolate. She asked if she might give it to my daughter, whose sobbing was now interrupted by this shiny wrapper.
Like a magic pill, this chocolate acted like a mute button for my daughter, reduced my heart rate, and allowed me to walk home feeling blessed by a stranger.
Generosity can come in many forms, like the more obvious ‘big’ acts of using your spare room to welcome in a vulnerable child through fostering or taking out an ‘any driver’ insurance policy on your car so that anyone who needs it can use it, or the ‘small’ act of sharing a chocolate with someone. But whether big or small, acts of generosity can show Jesus to someone and transform their day. Matthew 10:42 shows us that even simple gifts are valued by Him.
As you go about your business today, look out for those whose heads are lowered and whose hearts seem down. A chocolate might just make their day.
Robin Peake is the Senior Fundraising Executive with the fostering and adoption charity Home for Good, and a Trustee for Wycliffe Bible Translators.
He is on the leadership team of a church on a council estate in Oxford where he lives with his wife and two children.
Today’s charity is: Home for Good
Home for Good is dedicated to finding a home for every child who needs one by co-ordinating and resourcing a rapidly growing network of people, churches and local movements across the UK.