Sunday, March 8, 2009

That thine alms may be in secret....

Recently someone did something really nice (really really really really ) nice for our family. Many of you have done things really nice for our family recently. I've been overwhelmed with the amount of meals friends have brought over, with the mound of diapers I found on the step one day from a diaper drop a friend had organized, from people watching Gwen and Bentley, people offering emotional support. We've been so blessed lately thanks to all of you.

This particular deed was done anonymously. I got a phone call from someone who said, "God just wants you to know how much he loves you and your family today, and because He does He has sent someone who [insert really really kind deed here] for you. I can't tell you who it was, but they just felt God wanted you to know he loves you". I burst into tears, she burst into tears. It was one of the most thoughtful things anyone has done for me. I couldn't believe someone would love me, or Gwen or just our family that much to do something like that for us.

At first I felt sad that I would never know who it was. But then as Blaine and I talked about it we decided that it is way better that we don't know, because now, everyone gets credit! It could have been Ralphie, it could have been my brother, it could have been someone at Gwen's preschool, or it could have been you. I don't know and I never will. All I can do is try hard to be so kind to everyone that everyone will feel my love for them, and hopefully along the way I will be kind to whoever did this for us, and they'll know how appreciative I am.

Anyway, since my husband is far more eloquent than I, I am including some of a blog post he wrote to our family blog about doing alms in secret...


We will never know who it was.

And that's exactly what is so great about it.

You all probably remember how I always spent my Christmas Eve before falling asleep. Every year I loved reading the George Durrant short story: "That Thine Alms May Be in Secret" about the man who has a secret service done for him and then spends the rest of his life trying to do something that big and that secret for someone else. I've always loved that story and that scripture: That thine alms may be in secret... But I don't know if I ever realized why secret service is so great--even better than public service.

It's because we don't know who did it, so we have to assume that everyone around us could have been the one. We have begun to look at everyone we know as our potential secret helper. And when you look at people that way it makes you love them and feel close to them. "I wonder if she could have done something like that for us. You know what, I bet she could. I could actually see her doing something like that. She is so awesome!"

The same concept is what makes secret evil the worst kind of evil. It's one thing when you see someone get caught shoplifting--tsk tsk. But they are flesh and blood and they will face the consequences. It's another thing when you see a dirty word spray painted on a wall. It makes your blood boil because you know that there won't be any temporal consequences for the offender. And worse you start looking at all the neighborhood kids, all these darn punks on the streets with their baggy pants and their shifty eyes. It could have been any one of them! And you begin to feel distanced from them, you judge them unfairly--a subtle form of hate. It was the same thing when I lost my wallet. I thought it had maybe fallen out of my pocket at work and so suddenly I was looking at all my co-workers and all the janitors and maintenance people: "I wonder if he could have done something like that. I wouldn't think so, but you know what, maybe he would! I don't know, maybe if no one was looking..." You get the point.

So let us get out there and serve and do good. Many times it will be impossible to do it in secret but when we get the chance to do one of our alms in secret, I hope we'll take that chance. Because we'll still get the credit for it from the person we're serving. Just everybody else will get credit too and so it just grows into a great situation for everybody.


Anyway, just so you know, I feel so blessed that I can see so many of you doing something this nice. I am surrounded by loving and caring people and I appreciate all you have done for me. I feel so loved and so blessed and so grateful!



Bart said...

Great post, Kristi (and Blaine). Thanks for sharing such a great story and thoughts.

Marcie said...

This is so awesome! You have inspired me to be more charitable. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Aww, you're not going to tell us what it was? I love heart-warming stories. But even without knowing, it still makes me want to pass on the love.

Robin said...

Very cool!