"I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me." Proverbs 8:17 (NASB)
On February 14th, "Valentine's Day", a team from our church gave out free "kisses" to people in the community- Hershey's kisses. It would have kept costs down if we randomly started kissing people in the community. That would leave an impression; not a good one. =P
It was such a great experience, because it's not very often that I can serve with my wife and kids. This was such a family-friendly outreach, it was really nice to see my daughter and wife get involved. My boys were involved too- they got into everything they could get their hands on (but that's a totally different story) =)
Our desire was to touch the lives around us with God's love. I am grateful to have a wife to share Valentine's with, but there are others where Valentine's reminds them of loneliness and broken relationships. With singleness, the loss of a loved one and with the divorce rate being so high, their is a need to let people know that someone loves them, most importantly, God loves them!
So we ventured out and went to different businesses in the area, passing out festive baggies with Hershey's Kisses inside. We would go up to them and say, "Here are a few kisses for you on Valentine's Day. God loves you!" If you could see the reaction on the people's faces! Pleasantly suprised... happy... one joked and said this was the only kind of "kisses" they would be getting on Valentine's Day. Out of 145 touches we only heard of 3-4 rejections, which is a very low percentage.
While we made people's days with such a simple gesture, there were a couple of people who really opened up to us about their brokeness. Sharing about the stress of life, the loss of a loved one, and their journey to find Truth in their lives. It was a privilege to listen as they shared their overwhelming burdens with us. We let them know that we will be praying for them. What a great opportunity to pray for their needs! "The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18 (NASB)
Outreach can be for the believers as well! We made extra baggies to pass out at church. Greeters stood by the door and gave out "kisses" to those attending the service. We intentionally hugged and gave "kisses" to those involved in ministry, letting them how much we love them and appreciate the hard work they do each Sunday for us. What an encouragement that was!
How can you show God's love in simple and practical ways?
Let someone know you appreciate them. Let them know you recognize their work ethics, their friendship or how they have influenced your life.
Tell someone God loves them. This is for those who are not a face-to-face kind of person: The next time you are at a restaurant, tip the waiter/waitress more than the ordinary 15% - 20% and write a note that says, "Thank you for such great service - God loves you!"
Another idea: Whenever you get pizza delivered to your door. Don't just tip them a few bucks- give them $5.00 - $6.00 and either hand them a card, a note or just verbally express that God loves them!
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