In the past – of which I must admit recalling the defining moments has become more difficult lately – I would always dread the thought of putting together a newsletter. However, without fail, once I started to write, the words would just happen, as if I had some sort of hidden well of thoughts that was only accessible when I wasn’t really aware that I was trying to. The well seems to be hidden. I guess I’m trying too hard.
Anyway, in searching for the light side of things, which used to come quite naturally to me, I now seem to struggle. It’s been a rough couple of years, but I won’t go into that. Instead, if I can’t find lighthearted, I’ll reach for something else.
A few years ago, quite a few actually, I was near a schoolyard during the summer when the school was closed, swinging a metal detector over the ground to see what I could find beneath the soil. I used to do that as much as time would permit. It’s a highly misunderstood hobby.
Curious passersby would often ask me, “Hey does that thing actually work?”
No, I would think but not say. I just enjoy waving a metal rod over the ground. You should try it sometime.
Or, “Hey, have you found enough to pay for that thing yet?”
Oh, I don’t know. Have you won enough tournaments to pay for your golf clubs? Perhaps you’ve caught enough fish to pay for your bass boat?
Just as it is with golf and fishing, the hobby of metal detecting isn’t about the money. It’s about relaxing and having a good time. But I stray from the point. While I was lost in thought, intently listening for the subtly different nuances of sound the detector was putting out, a boy of about twelve years of age walked over and got my attention. I nodded and removed my headphones.
He dug into his pocket, pulled out a handful of coins, and held them out for me.
The more I tried to explain that I didn’t really need the coins, the more insistent he became. I finally told him to scatter the coins across the schoolyard so I could find them with the detector. He was a good kid who thought he was helping me out. I often wonder what happened to the kindhearted lad. Good things I hope.
On another occasion, I was walking across the parking lot of a local convenience store when a teenager with dirty, scraggly hair approached a lady. “Could you loan me some money for cigarettes?” He asked.
The lady explained that she would not give him any money, but instead would go into the store and purchase the cigarettes for him. To my surprise, the dirty, young man was overcome with thankfulness. He asked her what he could do to repay her. She told him to do something nice for someone else, if he got the chance.
In a world permeated with negativity and violence, random, selfless acts of love and kindness are not overshadowed, but instead shine their light into the darkness. We should all strive not only to become aware of such behavior, but to also act as conduits through which the light of Jesus can shine.This article was written by Bob Avey
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