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Whose Day Will You Brighten

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“Some distribute their own goods, and grow richer: others take away what is not their own, and are always in want. The soul which blesseth, shall be made fat: and he that inebriateth, shall be inebriated also himself.” – Proverbs 11:24-25, Douay-Rheims

Edith lived a healthy, active lifestyle until a fall changed everything. With a broken hip and her arm badly sprained, she couldn’t live on her own any longer. Her son found an assisted living facility a few hours away and helped her move.

Despite her new limitations, Edith remained positive. She quickly made friends with other patients and staff members. But she still had moments when she felt lonely.

One day, a letter came in. It was a sweet note from a young child then another message from a single mom came a week later. Each letter brightened her day but she wasn’t sure how the messages were getting to her.

She mentioned them to her son who laughed. “There’s a website, Mom,” he explained, “Where people can write letters to people in assisted living facilities. I knew you were feeling blue, so I signed you up.”

When most people think of giving to others, their first thought is financial. But you don’t have to give dollars and cents to make a difference. Instead, you can give of your time and attention through writing notes to the elderly or soldiers.

You don’t have to give dollars and cents to make a difference. Give of your time and attention. Click To Tweet

You can do this by going online to sites like LoveForTheElderly.org or AMillionThanks.org. Both of these websites will show you sample letters and offer suggestions for what to include in your note. You never know whose day you might end up brightening!

Friends of ours gave us another great example of this kind of giving. On Saint Nicholas Day they would make up little gift bags with homemade gifts in them. The bags usually contained a handmade ornament, a poem, and a little note saying that the recipient of this gift was the recipient of a special message of love from God. They would leave these bags at the doors of friends, and of anyone they knew who was lonely or needed a pick-me-up. And in the spirit of Saint Nicholas, they did it in secret.

Reflection Questions: What are some more ways you could make a gift of yourself to someone without spending money? Why does this kind of gift sometimes seem more meaningful than a purchased gift? I challenge you to put one of these ideas into practice, and then write about your experience.
God, let me refresh someone else today. I want to be a blessing to those around me!

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Also published on Medium.

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