Yesterday afternoon, I was stoked about pulling into the drive-through line at our local McDonald's. I was going to buy some bottled water.
No! It wasn't the water that I was excited about. I got into line mainly to use our congregation's new "This Meal's on Us!" card. I was going to pay for my bottled water and also pay for the order of whoever was ordering in the car behind me, then ask the cashier to give the card to that person. The card would explain why some stranger had just paid for their order.
Each "This Meal's on Us!" card tells the recipient that God loves them, no strings attached, and that Saint Matthew Lutheran Church stands ready to serve them in other ways in which they might need help.
I ordered my bottle of water, pulled up to the pay window, explained to the cashier what I was doing, and handed her both my credit card and the "This Meal's on Us!" card. The cashier processed the two transactions and gave the receipts to me.
I saw mine; a buck-fifty for my water.
Then I looked at the receipt of the next car. The person had ordered an iced-tea from the dollar menu!
At that rate, I was tempted to drive through three or four more times. But I had a shut-in to visit.
I'd sort of hoped, for my first personal kindness outreach in a while, to pay for an order that included about fifty Big Macs. You know, some stunner that would cause a tapped-out agnositc construction worker who'd been drafted to pick up burgers for the whole crew to break out into the Hallelujah Chorus.
But instead, God put a person in the line behind me who only wanted an iced tea from the dollar menu.
It was a humbling reminder that we don't undertake acts of kindness in Jesus' Name to get goose-bumpy thrills for ourselves.
We do them to share Jesus in the ways God determines to be necessary at the time. Then, we leave what happens as a result in the hands of God's Holy Spirit.
As my buddy, Pastor Steve Sjogren likes to say, "Small things done with great love will change the world." I'm learning to trust that God will use the small acts of faithfulness we do to bring positive changes to the world, one person--even one iced tea--at a time.
Meanwhile, as He puts me gently in place for my grandiose visions, I have to smile. God has a sense of humor.