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Thanksgiving: Time for SharingThanksgiving: Time for Sharing
by Rubel Shelly

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“In everything I’ve done, I have demonstrated to you how necessary it is to work on behalf of the weak and not exploit them. You’ll not likely go wrong her if you keep remembering that our Master said, ‘You’re far happier giving than getting.’” (The Apostle Paul in Acts 20:35 The Message)

    My friend was in line to pay for a few items he had picked up at the grocery store on his way home from work last Tuesday. He had put in a full day. It would be good to get home to have dinner with his wife and relax. And he heard a voice! Not from above, mind you, but from below. Or was it, perhaps, “from above”?

    “Hi! My name is Sam. What’s yours?” A brief conversation started between an attorney and a little boy whose head didn’t quite come to his waist. The little boy had a big smile and an infectious personality. He also had an assortment of birth defects that were very visible and obvious. But he was smiling, meeting new people, and tasting the sweet nectar of delight in life!

    The man who had been an absent-minded shopper became an enthralled buddy to Sam. So he glanced up at the mother of such a remarkable little boy. And it didn’t take any special insight to see that Sam and his mom were not high rollers from an upscale neighborhood. They were buying a few basics for their pantry — a pantry that probably wasn’t stuffed with lots of extras.

    He remembered a newspaper article he had read that very morning about a “Seeds of Kindness” project. Its goal is to encourage sharing and generosity. There are lots of barren places where just a little kindness would do wonders. The plan is to encourage people to use $5 or $50 or $5,000 to help someone in need — and take nothing in return.

There are lots of barren places where just a little kindness would do wonders.
    So he looked up at the cashier who was scanning the last item for the lady who was starting to count out her money and said, "If you don’t mind adding my couple of items to this lady’s tab, I’d like to pay for both of us.”

    A confused clerk and startled customer looked at him for an explanation. Was it a joke? If so, it was pretty heartless! Did he know the lady? Maybe that’s why he got in this line. Were they together? Not too likely — given the obvious differences between them. So what gives?

    He told the mother about “Seeds of Kindness” and said he wanted to be a blessing to her — and asked that she pass a blessing forward to someone else. She thanked him. She and Sam went home with their groceries. The cashier who had heard everything smiled broadly. And the man left with his sack — thanking God for showing him where to plant a few seeds of kindness that day.

    If you ask, God just might show you a spot for sowing a few yourself.

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      © 2002, Rubel Shelly. Used by permission. From Rubel Shelly's "FAX of Life" printed each Tuesday. See Faith Matters for previous issues of the "FAX of Life."

      Title: "Thanksgiving: Time for Sharing"
      Author: Rubel Shelly
      Publication Date: November 27, 2002

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Rubel ShellyRubel Shelly has preached for the Woodmont Hills Church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee since 1978. He is the author of more than 20 books. For more details, click here.


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