Thank you to everyone who viewed, liked, and commented on yesterday’s post. I appreciate your support, and hope that, during 40 Acts, I can support you too. It is good to feel part of a community all focussed on generosity – of gifts, resources, spirit. I know that some people feel discouraged if they don’t complete all the Challenges/Acts/Call-them-what-you-will, but in my first year of doing this, when I was bemoaning the fact that I hadn’t “done” one of the Acts, someone reminded me that while being generous to others, one needs to be generous to oneself – which means not beating yourself up if you don’t understand, or don’t get on with, or don’t do an Act. Think of what you are doing globally – even if you miss 5 or 6 of the challenges, you are still adding to the pool of generosity and good in this world…and you can always catch up after Easter!
So, on to today’s Challenge: The prompt reads
We tend to think of generosity as a spontaneous thing. Off the cuff. A quick cup of coffee for a homeless person on the way to work. A gift of money when a relative falls into difficulty. High-fiving a stranger on the Tube. (Maybe.) But if spontaneity is our only mode of generosity, we shut ourselves off from some powerful displays of kindness. Planning ahead removes those limits and unlocks something extraordinary. You prepare yourself to be the solution to problems you haven’t even encountered yet.
You can read the full meditation here
The Acts are:
GREEN: Keep one helpful thing on your person at all times this Lent. Something small – a trolley coin, a pack of tissues, chewing gum, extra locker money. Be ready to give it away.
AMBER: Create a kit of things that are personal to your situation – whether it’s a spare umbrella, a trolley coin, a snack pack or an inflatable life-raft – think of the things you might appreciate and put a kit together for others.
RED: Create a kit of things you’d probably never normally carry around, for people you’d never usually connect with. This might be an emergency kit for homeless people (you can find great examples of what to include in them online). Ask God for the opportunity to meet someone who needs it.
There’s also a “Crowd funding” act linking to a charity I’d never heard of, called Acts 435 which is a charity which supports small individual requests for help, all advocated and checked out to be genuine.
So how am I going to face these challenges?
I’va already started collecting 2€ pieces, whenever I get them in my change. These go into a special purse in my bag, so when I see someone begging, I have some resources to give them, or to buy a bag of food for them. I must admit to dipping into it myself though when I’ve discovered I’ve not got enough change for the bread! Shame faced look!
Last winter I did have a few hats & scarves stashed in the car to give to anyone who was homeless – but actually, having done that, I didn’t see anyone! But that doesn’t mean I won’t in future. I think that to complete this Act, I will continue with the 2€ piece collection, and also try to be more open to listening to God reminding me of things I have that I can give away when the opportunity arises.
The one thing I will do, straight after this, is go to Lend With Care…in January Keith very kindly awarded me a £15 voucher to invest, and I promised that I would match this. Procrastination being one of the things on my list yesterday (together with laziness!) I shall metaphorically put Satan behind me, and immediately get on with making the final decision & investment.
I look forward to reading what other people are getting up to.
See you tomorrow! But, because I am working tomorrow, I probably won’t get the chance to blog about it until the evening – or even until Saturday. I will try to do a quick call-in on FB though.
PS I’m not sure why this has gone all long and thin. I imagine it’s something to do with me copying and pasting from the 40 Acts site. Perhaps I just need to link to the site, rather than trying to paste the prompts into my blog post…Hmm. Techno idiot strikes again!