While delivering Blessings in a Bag, which are lunch sacks filled with food, to a throng of homeless folks in downtown San Diego, I turned the corner with eight bags to see at least 16 people sitting along the sidewalk. Feeling the need to proceed, I apologized for not having enough for all and asked them to please share. One man quickly exclaimed, “Wow! It’s food!” They passed around the bags so each could have something to enjoy. Another homeless women said, “This is a wonderful thing you are doing and we do appreciate it.”
As I walked back to my car feeling like I had done something worthwhile but needed to do more, a lovely, well-dressed woman approached me and handed me $10 saying, “Whatever you’re doing, I would like to contribute to it.” I told her that would feed 10 additional people the next time because of her donation. She gave me a big smile and said, “Thank you for letting me help, too.” I proceeded to tell this story to everyone I connected with that afternoon. They seemed happier just hearing my story.
Paying it forward really does work. I marvel at how simple it is to put a smile on people’s faces and warm their hearts.
I am grateful to my church, All Souls’, Point Loma, for the outreach programs large and small in which we can participate. They make me a better person. +
As the autumn season begins, many church—and personal—schedules begin to fill up. Days grow shorter and the list of to-do’s only increase as we inch towards forthcoming holidays. Costumes to be made, goodies to bake, presents to be purchased and so on. Considering the busy-ness of the next few months as we approach Advent, here […]
Shortly after the resurrection, Jesus was walking down a long road when he ran into two strangers. These strangers did not recognize Jesus. How could they? Jesus had died, been buried, and, just hours earlier, risen from the dead. The stunning story of Christ’s death had spread, and these two travelers did not yet believe […]
For five days in late May of this year, I had the privilege of gathering with other seminarians at the annual Preaching in Excellence conference hosted by the Episcopal Preaching Foundation (EPF). For 35 years, the EPF has been educating Episcopal seminarians and clergy on the benefits of great preaching. Four of my fellow Sewanee […]