A couple of weeks ago, while celebrating a birthday, my grandson and I were playing with balloons. Our play consisted of me batting balloons into the air at which time he would run around in circles underneath the descending balloons attempting to keep them in the air. He squealed and laughed as we played together. Watching the smile on his face and the excitement he experienced as he ran around caused me to reflect on how this simple pleasure really brought joy to my heart. I also recognized that it doesn’t take complex gifts or sacrifices to bring joy to someone else (my grandson really appreciates the gift of time and attention).
I thought about this as I reflected on something Jesus said as he concluded his teaching on the Good Samaritan. After telling the story, Jesus asked, ‘Which of the men in the story showed himself to be a neighbor to the man in need?’ The leader responded, ‘The one who had mercy on him’. Jesus very simply said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
I have been trying to practice this command during the past few weeks. It’s amazing to me how many opportunities there are to do simple things for people. I have prayed with people who are hurting, taken the opportunity to speak up for Jesus to some needing strength and have made time to listen with a caring ear when someone needs to talk. It has brought joy to my heart as I have tried to do these simple things. I’m starting to realize that it isn’t the grand gestures that make the most difference. Little things done consistently will bear the most fruit in the long haul.
I wonder what might happen if we were to take Jesus’ simple statement as a command instead of a suggestion? It seems to me that the simple things put into action can make a profound difference. What joy do you need to bring to someone today?