1 Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
There is something uniquely energising about making someone smile! I am not sure whether it is because it sadly doesn’t happen very often or indeed because there is a power in it that cannot be completely explained.
As Christians, we are constantly thinking of new ways to communicate the good news of Jesus but if the ‘Love St Albans’ event taught me anything it is that sometimes the simplest ways can be the most powerful.
I don’t for one minute think that smiling at people and other ‘random acts of kindness’ are all that is required but what a superb starting point we discovered they are during our 8 hours of ‘Loving St Albans’! For most of the day the question we were asked was ‘why?’ ‘Why are you doing this? Why is it free? Why have you given up your Saturday to make a bunch of strangers smile? The answer is simple, because a bunch of us believe that this event can be used by God to re-orientate people’s view of young people, of the church, of faith, of Jesus and of Christians. We have no way of knowing what impact we actually achieved but we do know that for one Saturday in June we got to mess with people’s heads and cause them to reconsider their view of a number of important things!
What if every persons first contact with a follower of Jesus was a smile or a ‘random act of kindness’? How different would the world be? How different would our churches be? How different would our communities be?
The verse above from 1 Peter has really come alive to me since the ‘Love St Albans’ event. I witnessed a whole bunch of young people and their leaders ‘serving others’ and being amazing ‘stewards of God’s grace!’ My prayer is that the day was more than just a glimpse of what is possible but that actually it will inspire individuals, youth groups and churches to consider a more creative yet simple way of communicating the love of Jesus.
“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”
—Bob Kerrey (1943)