Zzzt! Zzzzt! Zzzz-zzz-zzt!
That was the sound I heard coming from my oven Saturday morning as I geared up for a couple of hours of baking for my kids’ homeschool co-op fundraiser bake sale. I looked through the glass in the door, and saw flames. I opened the door, and the flames got bigger. I quickly turned off the oven and threw the contents of a box of baking soda on the flames, while yelling for my husband to come and save us. He was in the barn and couldn’t hear me. As it turned out, we didn’t need saving. The flames struggled for a few more seconds and then died.
My first thought was, “Thank You, Lord, that I did not turn on the oven and leave the room (or house) while the oven pre-heated”.
My second thought, as I looked at the chocolate chip cookie dough my son had just made was, “I think my To Do List for the morning just got a whole lot shorter”.
This bothered me, because, well, I was in charge of the bake sale. My oldest daughter had already made some chocolate-covered pretzels, but I still had biscuits, carrot cakes and cookies that I had committed to taking. Plus, my son was really looking forward to giving some of his cookies to his choir director as a gift. Ugh.
I’ve said before that I have really great neighbors. I mean, really great. I called one of them and asked if we could borrow her kitchen for my son to bake enough cookies to give his gift. The answer was an immediate and gracious “yes”. I then posted a note on the bake sale thread that I had experienced a slight setback and that I would not be bringing most of what I had committed to bring, and that if anyone had the “oomph” to bring extra of something, that would be wonderful. Most of the women who read the thread were already baking several things, plus getting several children ready for the fall concert, plus doing all of the things moms and wives usually do on a Saturday. I just decided to leave it at that.
We got to the church where the kids were going to perform, and I started pricing the baked goods as the women brought them in. At least three of them had brought extra treats to cover for my lapse, and the income generated was well beyond what my contributions would have incurred. I was overwhelmed by their service to me and to our organization.
All of these women further endeared themselves to me that day, and I will long remember their kindnesses.
When our hearts are acting in selflessness, the seemingly small things we do for other people are never wasted. These little seeds often grow in the hearts of those who rub shoulders with the sower, yielding a harvest of gratitude, encouragement and love. Even when the person we are most trying to serve responds with hardness of heart, there is no futility in our actions. Someone, somewhere is watching, and even our hearts are being changed. There is no such thing as a small act of kindness.
Challenge: Sprinkle seeds of kindness today. Put money on the order behind you in the drive-thru, hold the door open for someone else, make your spouse’s favorite supper, look up and smile at people, send an overdue thank-you note, take a meal to a young mom, schedule a coffee date with a shut-in. Ask God to make you aware of ways you can make a difference today.