Lent Day 37 – Ways to Show Unexpected Love
Monday I talked about how Bob Goff gave a life changing talk this past weekend at our church. One of the themes he repeated was showing love to everyone. That so resonates with me because Christianity as a whole can sometimes feel like a joke. I have to step back and remind myself that faith is what matter, not certain people who belong to a collective body or religion.
Love Does the Unexpected
Our church is joining with other churches to start a movement of loving in unexpected ways. The theme is Love Does the Unexpected. The approach is finding ways to show love to all, especially those often marginalized by the church. This includes the homeless, the imprisoned, the LGTBQ community and so on. What I love even more they want this to be an on-going movement – not just a campaign to do good.
7 Ways to Show Unexpected Love
So how can you show unexpected love? I know so many of us have a heart for philanthropy but sometimes our bank accounts just don’t let us give as much as we would like. Each of these unexpected ways to show love will cost you less than $20 (depending on what you buy and wear you shop.)
- Buy Groceries for a Food Pantry
- Hand Out Cheeseburgers to the Homeless
- Give Blood
- Make a Meal for a Neighbor
- Drop off Donuts in the Teacher’s Lounge
- Help at an LBGTQ Community Center
- Drop off Diapers to a Single Mom
Buy Groceries for a Food Pantry
This gesture of love is simple. When grocery shopping, pick up extra groceries. Check with a local food pantry to see if there are specific needs.
Common Food Pantry Needs
Here are common groceries that are needed at a food pantry:
- cooking oil (plastic bottle only)
- meat (e.g., ham, Spam, vienna sausage, and chicken breast)
- tuna fish
- jello or pudding
- vegetables (e.g., peas, corn, and beans)
- peanut butter (plastic container only)
- jelly (plastic container only)
- mac and cheese
- pasta or rice
- dried potato mix
- spaghetti sauce
- granola/protein bars
Hand Out Cheeseburgers to the Homeless
Last summer, I had a few kids in the car. We were driving around an area that we typically aren’t in and my son yelled “Mom that guy needs food.” We are privileged, I am 100% aware of this. Our kids don’t see people pan handling or holding signs asking for food in the little country town that we live in.
I detoured and bought the guy a meal at Jack-in-the-Box and brought it to him. He cried. It was so simple. It cost me $5 and 5 minutes of time. More than anything I hate telling people of good deeds. I am not here to sound like a better person for doing this or anything of the such. What I do want is for people to pause their busy lives, look around and take 5 minutes and $5 to change someone’s day.
A simple act of love is to give blood. This will take about an hour of your time.
Blood Donation Requirements
Here is information on what is required to give blood:
- Donation frequency: Every 56 days*
- You must be in good health and feeling well**
- You must be at least 16 years old in most states.
- You must weigh at least 110 lbs.
For more information including on where to donate blood – check out redcrossblood.org.
Make a Meal for a Neighbor
Making a casserole for your family?
Make 2, and give the extra meal to a neighbor or friend that could use a break from making dinner.
Drop off Donuts in the Teacher’s Lounge
This is as easy as picking up a dozen or so donuts and dropping them off at the front office at a local school.
Something to think about, I hear that middle school teachers and high school teachers are not thought about as often as elementary school teachers. So if you have a middle schooler or high schooler, consider donating at one of those schools.
Help at at LGBTQ Community Center
There are a number of LGTBQ community centers thru-out the US.
Find a center in your area and see how you can help. Here is a link to locate a LGTBQ center near you: lgbtcenters.org/LgbtCenters
Drop off Diapers to a Single Mom
Don’t know a single mom? Go to the grocery store and stand in the diaper aisle – chances are you will find one.
Give to a single mom, give to a mom who has her hands full and could just use the hand-up (not hand-out.)
There is Always Someone with a BUT…
I know some of you are rolling your eyes and are full of BUTs…
BUT – aren’t you enabling the homeless people by feeding them?
BUT – aren’t you supporting a gay lifestyle?
BUT – teachers don’t need donuts.
There are always people with buts and there are always the naysayers.
Loving without condition is all you are called to do. Leave the judgement to Jesus.
See you tomorrow on day 38 of Lent.
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