Giving Secretly





I don’t mind the cold, in fact, I like it.  I got home from the grocery store and began chopping the vegetables I bought for one of my favorite creations, Beef Noodle Soup.   A cold winter day deserves a pot of hot tasty soup to warm the tummy but the message I heard on the radio in the background in my kitchen reached deep into my heart and warmed the inner places of my soul.

In between songs, the deejay on the Christian station shared a story of a mom’s embarrassment while having lunch with her young son in a restaurant.  The little boy felt overwhelmed at one point and began acting out.  It’s hard when that happens and this child suffers from Asperger Syndrome; his surroundings became too much for him to bear.  His mom understood; she did her best.  She realized how he felt and tried to comfort him so that they could enjoy lunch together but clearly she struggled.  She took her boy to the restroom, and returned to pay the bill.  Someone picked up the tab leaving her a note saying “You’re a good mom; I know the struggle.”


To me that act of kindness is the heart of ministry.  Oh to see a need and encourage someone like that gives me the chills.  It’s a touch from Jesus within the four walls of that room.


Love doesn’t always require a microphone with an eloquent voice behind it preaching the best sermon on record.  Love isn’t always just drawing a crowd of people to one’s talents and wowing them with ample abilities.  Sometimes love is quietly meeting a need, mysteriously, stepping into someone’s struggle because the pain is familiar.

Love came to that mom in the restaurant and she felt overwhelmed, overwhelmed, though, in a good way.  Someone cared!  Someone blessed!

We moms and dads know that there are days when parenting challenges takes the wind out of our sails.  I remember feeling like a failure at those times and then someone would come along and compliment me, usually my mom, and it meant the world to me.  I, too, like to pass that compliment baton.  To watch a parent’s face light up from a good word lights up mine. 

The story about “blessing and caring” warmed my heart and encouraged me to kick it up a notch higher.  May my eyes see an opportunity so I can mysteriously meet the need.

I’m guessing that’s what the deejay hoped, in the end, would happen.

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing the story. I'm not very versed on Asperger's but I understand it is a challenge to manage and relate to. That story certainly points to love in action. Hope you are having a great day. Your beef noodle soups sounds wonderful!

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    1. Children with Asperger's have a very hard time in social situations. Melanie, I found a chuck roast on sale for 2.29/lb! Just your normal soup ingredients with egg noodles, but the magic is Mrs. Dash spice. Thanks for your well wishes; I awoke with migraine, but am getting much better now. Love you.

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  2. What a sweet story! I know it meant the world to that weary mom. That person was a true ambassador of Christ. Thanks for sharing. This reminded me of the need to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

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    1. Very well said, Lisa. I agree. Love in action!

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  3. What a lovely story! And your beef noodle soup sounds just delicious and heartwarming! So is the story you shared. Thank you!

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    1. It turned out great! The husband liked it. Fun eating soup and biscuits by candlelight--haha.

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  4. Such a beautiful story, Mary, and a great reminder to all of to be more aware of our surroundings and to be on the lookout for that nudge from God to help or give another an encouraging word. God definitely wants us to be His hands and feet and your story was such a beautiful example....

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    1. The mother in this story was so encouraged, Nancy, that someone cheered her on. She wanted to thank her, but people like this don't want to be recognized. They just hope we'll pay it forward and like you say, be the hands & feet of Jesus.

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  5. Yum on the soup! I always get chills when I hear stories like this, it is so neat there is still compassion and caring in this world. What it also did was give the mother courage to maybe again try an outing with her son and her.

    Betty

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    1. I love these testimonies, Betty. My friend just posted on FB that while waiting for her order at the fast food drive through, the person ahead picked up her meal. It is such a surprise! She felt so loved by God.

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  6. Yes! Stories like this invariably touch my heart and make me want to do more.
    Now, I'm no enthusiast of supporting the big charities; rather, I like to discover a need and meet it. How fun to be in a position to act anonymously!

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    1. It was eye opening to research those big charities and learn that only one or two help people with our donations. It is wise to give and even wiser to know how to give effectively.

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  7. Oh, wow! What a beautiful story, Mary! Yes, may we all see the need and not only see it, but respond to it, for we are doing it for Jesus when we do! Thank you for the gentle reminder and encouragement I always find here. :)

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    1. I'm glad you found encouragement here because you encourage me so much! Bless your week, dear one.

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  8. Hi Mary! I love stories like this. Not trumpeting in the streets, just a quiet, lovely act that brings tears to the eyes.
    My nephew has autism, and let me tell you, it's a rough road for my brother and SIL. An act like this would make their day...or their week! Simple acts of kindness that we can all do if we just think about it.
    Beautiful!
    Ceil

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    1. Years ago I waited in line at Red Lobster chatting with the gal behind me and her mom about her petite one year old, and I learned she was autistic. Sookie was the same age and much larger and that's when I remembered three new outfits Amy just purchased for her in the back seat of my car. I called Amy and asked if I could give them to this little baby celebrating her birthday because they'll never fit Sookie. Amy loved that and agreed to the blessing. The mom cried and so did I. I love it when the nudge from Jesus to obey comes especially when I don't have to pay for it. Just kidding!

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  9. What a wonderful story. Thank you.

    God bless.

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  10. Hi Mary, so sweet of you to share the story with us. I would say that during our hard times, most important is for us to know that someone cares, understands and be gracious about it. It will really touch my heart and I will really appreciate their simple deeds or words of encouragement. God bless you.

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    1. Blessing right back to you, Nancy. You bless many people in those lovely blog posts of yours as well.

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  11. Do unto others as you'd have them do to you. Nothing better than the Golden Rule.

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  12. The first thing I thought of was Jesus' words in Matthew 6:3-4, NLT:

    "But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you."

    Giving grace is a gift that always blesses the giver in return. And when we help someone else, we just never know where our ripples will go...

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. Great Scripture verse to go with this message, Sharon, thank you!!! Oh, I love that about the ripples.

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  13. Giving in secret is always the best kind, but not always possible. Sunday I took two cans of dog food with me, as often homeless hang out side the church with their dogs. Yes, I saw two dogs, and the cans were thankfully received by their human. God loves homeless dogs as well as the homeless people. Thank you for sharing this lovely story about a mother who struggles with her son's problem, and the kind person who picked up the tab. A person who deeply understood.

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    1. I love the dog food story! Yes, they are God's creatures too! Thank you for sharing.

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  14. As usual, you shared strongly and with lots of encouragement and lots of love. Made me smile! Thank you, Dear.

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    1. Thanks what I always hope happens here----people smile!

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  15. Thanks for sharing this story. I can definitely pay attention more to what is going on around me, and hopefully bring kindness to someone's day.

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  16. Oh this post just melted my heart this morning! Thanks for sharing. I will be sharing this with our ladies in class tonight as well. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. You bless me, pretty lady, with your ready-heart for inspiration! Hugs!

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  17. Yep. That's a wonderful story. You're right of course; our ministry doesn't need to be seen, in fact, from all I can tell it seems that our Father perfers the ministry of humility over all others. Not letting the left hand know what the right one is doing is such an encouragement!

    Thanks for sharing the story and reminding me of my calling.

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    1. Humility. That was the lesson in my Bible study this morning. I am so grateful for God's patience with me in that area. Blessings, brother.

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  18. "sometimes love is quietly meeting a need, mysteriously, stepping into someone’s struggle because the pain is familiar."

    Should agree! it shouldnt be elegant, it's should be personal!

    Oh, and i wish i had tasted the beef noodle soup! hahaha.

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    1. You know how the proverb goes: "Better to have soup with a friend than steak with an enemy." Bless you, brother!

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  19. Hi Mary,
    It has been a long time. 2015 wasn't the best year for me health wise, so I am still finishing off my studies. 2016 however is looking like a wonderful year so far. My course will finish mid-April or sooner if I get a shookzie on :-)
    I love your blog - finally I signed up. Also I have followed you on twitter and subscribed to emails. This way I am certain I won't miss a thing. Love and blessings, Jo'Anne

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    1. PS: I meant to say "what a beautiful story, and thank you for sharing it with us all." The best love is always patient and kind, and above quiet ...

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    2. Josephine, you made my day. To wake up this morning to this encouragement meant so much. I'm glad the turn of the year is on an upswing for you. Looking forward to more connection. Big hugs to you.

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  20. I love those stories of encouragement, it's a great reminder that there are still good people in the world and we all benefit from small acts of kindness :)

    I love the cold, too! I just like to sit under a blanket and a cat with some hot coffee and soak in the warmth of the moment :)

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    1. Love coffee, love cozy with throws, pillows and books! God bless, Liz.

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  21. Just like Jesus would have done, isn't it? What a blessing for that sweet mom. I drove through McDonald's the other day and they said 'no charge', the lady in front of me had decided to pay it forward and took care of my bill. It was a blessing just to realize that there are strangers who are all around us giving and sharing. I want to be more like that every day.

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    1. We are members of God’s Kingdom. We obey King Jesus and try not to figure it out! My daughter was in Carl’s Jr. when the Lord told her to go and lay hands on a man limping with a cane and pray for his healing. So this guy, mid 40’s, says “Sure, you can pray.” She stands there with a baby on her hip and hand on his shoulder she prays for his healing. We may not understand God’s assignment or the result, but we go! I’m so glad you were blessed at MacDonald’s, Sonja. Beautiful touch from the Lord!

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  22. I have low tolerance for cold too. :)
    Thanks for another encouraging story. Stay warm and safe.

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