Tuesday, July 24, 2012

CHAOS - Random Acts of Kindness

Kids these days!  What is going to happen to this world when the next generation takes over?  It's  a question that is asked often.  If the teens I spent the last week with are a true representation of "kids these days" then we are going to be fine!
Our church youth group has a tradition of spending a week doing local missions around Birmingham.  They've participated in things like Habitat for Humanity in the past.  This summer has been so busy that there wasn't a time in the schedule for something like that.  God knew what He was doing and knew that some of our own would need service.
On Tuesday we attended a memorial service in Nashville for the father of two teens that used to be in our youth group.  They were so happy to see all of their old friends.  The other attendees were touched by the massive group of teenagers who took a summer day to support a friend.
On Wednesday we visited the home of one of our church elders. He was recently diagnosed cancer and has been doing a lot of studying and reflecting.  The day was lovely to watch.  He taught the kids somethings they may not have known about the Bible; he shared his love of creation through gardening with them; and he told funny stories about his career in the military.  Everyone was touched in some way by the visit.  The biggest blessing was that of fellowship - "old" and young sharing time because of the shared love of God.  At the end of our visit, he told us that he hadn't felt a bit of pain the whole time we were there - hadn't even thought about it!
Thursday was a huge blessing to me.  This is the day referred to as Chaos Mission.  Each teen shows up with $10 and they split into groups.  The rest of the day is spent using their pooled resources to bless people in our community.  The group I was with decided to do several random acts of kindness.

Here's the rundown:
1. We went to the Dollar Tree to buy park toys, plastic baggies, sticky notes, Bibles, and cards.
2. We gave a card to our cashier, Jalenda, thanking her for starting our day of kindness with a  big smile.  She was just adorable!

3. We went to Krispy Kreme to buy 3 dozen donuts - one box for the under appreciated librarians and 2 for our local firefighters.
4. We went back to the church to write scripture and worship song lyrics on the toys, boxes, and sticky notes, write notes in the Bibles, and to fill out the cards we bought.

5. We stopped at the church elder's house to secretly leave a thank you card for his hospitality the day before.

6. We went to the bank to get $16 worth of quarters.

7. We stopped at one of our local parks to give toys to kids playing outside.  While we were there, we gave water to the groundskeeper and taped quarters in baggies with scripture to the drink machines (that's what the sticky notes were for).

8. We dropped off a thank you card and donuts at the library.

9. We stopped at the fire station to deliver donuts and a card.  They wanted to know what we owed them!

10.  We stopped at the community college and taped a TON of quarters and notes to machines.

11. We went to another local park where there were a lot of children and a lot of hot and tired adults.  We gave out the rest of the toys and bought bottled water for all of the adults.  We left most of the rest of the change taped to drink machines there...and a Bible on one of the benches.

12.  Lunch time!  We ate at Five Guys (yummy) and left a card for our severs - as well as a BIG tip!  We also left Bibles on tables around the restaurant.

After lunch, all of the groups met back at the church to talk about how we had been blessed while trying to bless others.  A couple of groups worked together at a Starbucks writing notes of encouragement to strangers and paying for coffee in the drive-thru.  I want to do that now!  I loved hearing the hearts of the teens.  Many of them said they wanted to do more like that on their own, with their families, and with their friends.  They reflected on how people may have been touched and how they may pass it on.  It all starts with one blessing and turns into more.  Those kids saw that first hand!

No comments: