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    by Susan McGrath

"And the Gift Goes on . . . "
Date Posted: October 25, 2003

The other day I was the recipient of a random act of kindness. (Remember a few years ago when that was the big thing -- try to do something anonymously for someone, especially a stranger. The hope was that they would, in turn, perform a kind act for someone else, and so on until the whole world was smiling.)

Anyway, I was in the drive-thru and McDonald's buying my kids a nutritious lunch and when I went to pay the cashier said, "She took care of it for you," and pointed to the car ahead of me.

I was a bit stunned, since I don't get my lunch paid for very often (unless my dad is along), so I didn't know what to do with the money I was counting out. My total was over six dollars, so I handed a five dollar bill to the cashier and told her to put it on the next order.

That order happened to be under three dollars, so she asked if I wanted change. I said, "Keep going."

Hopefully I put a smile on the face of at least two people behind me in the drive-thru that day.

Afterward I realized how much even a small gesture can mean. And I started to wonder, "What am I doing every day to improve the quality of lives around me, and especially of those I don't know?" Sadly the answer many days may be "not much".

Most of us "take care of business" on a daily basis, but do we go above and beyond what is required, or notice when someones needs some extra help or attention?

Our opportunities to share on a given day may not involve feeding the homeless or comforting a terminally ill child. But what about our family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers who could be blessed by a kind word or listening ear? What about the stranger in the drive-thru?

Just imagine what a monumental act of kindness (love, sacrifice, forgiveness) God performed for us in sending his Son to die. Do we smile (or pray or weep with thanks) each time we consider it?

And most importantly, do we pass that love and knowledge on to others, letting them know we are only continuing what God started?

"I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them." -- Hosea 11:4

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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