Day 2 of Lent… OUCH!
Lent is here for those who don’t know. If you want to follow my 40 days of lent please follow me and read my previous blog here…
For those who have…. carry on reading!
So I didn’t expect day 2 to be so challenging or hard. I mean I got my email through at about 7am and read it and was expecting to be able to just do it really easily but I couldn’t.
It wasn’t necessarily about what we had to do but more about what kindness actually is. So often I get into the trap of thinking kindness needs to be planned but also spontaneous… often I will walk down the street and say hello to people and will stop and chat with the regular Big Issue guy where I test out my way of communicating with someone who speaks very little English. Or when I hold a door open or give a bit of money to a friend or buy them there lunch. But we were challenged today to continue to do this but look bigger.
Often when we do this, we see a situation and try to help we try to fix it. I guess we do this with most things in our lives. We are tired so we go to sleep. We are hungry so we eat food. or we know see someone isn’t feeling too well so we go and help.
But what about all the non-spontaneous things?
What if we stopped and just planned now…. This was the challenge today.
What if instead of just offering a drink to a homeless person as we see them or giving money to a friend when they don’t have enough for lunch. what if we planned now. We made a little pack ready to use when we need it.
This made me stop and think WOAH… is this really what I’ve signed up for? I was thinking i’m sure last year was easier than this… and perhaps it was. But this year I wanted to challenge myself more and 40 acts was doing just that. I had no list writing to do or anything like that.
I spent most of the morning thinking about how to make a ‘care pack’. Now I’ve made many care pack type things for the local Refugee group who have been making them and sending them out in huge containers. (find out more here) But this pack needed to be different.
Keep on imitating me, brothers, all of you. We have set the right example for you, so pay attention to those who follow.
Today’s quote from the bible was that above. Powerful stuff… but how do I be like Jesus in this sense?
This was the main question I needed to work out in my head before I could even start thinking practically. Then I got it. Jesus did things for the many but also for the individuals. It took me to the idea of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with fish and bread. Here he helped the many he didn’t focus on one individual, but else where in the bible we see Jesus help one person such as the woman at the well. Where Jesus gave her ‘living water’ and a new chance and life. Jesus here did something different, he helped her one single person.
So I had an idea… why not create two packs? One for the many made up of a wide range of things we may need. So instead of starting from nothing I thought about what I’m always asked for…
pens, tissues, Vaseline, food. This was my starting point anyway.
So I collected together a few more pens than I previously had in my bag, some more tissues, some Vaseline and some chocolate (it’s what I had) and added some other things.
You can see how I slowly began to add. I thought of some post it notes, as people often ask to write something quickly down, a hair band… forever handy if you have long hair! Some hair grips to hold you hair in place, a comb (you never know), some anti-bacterial gel… this is so handy when in public places and need to clean your hands, some throat lozenges, some blue tack and fiddle bricks.
The last two are mainly as if people are like me there are situations where my brain has had enough and I need to keep focused so something like that works so well to help me focus.
Oh and a portable phone charger. Mainly as I get public transport a lot and people will often be panicking about phones dying in delays. with this I can offer them to charge there phone which will help them in there journey home or to work or wherever it may be they are going.
So that is my first kit… the kit for many.
My second kit is very different, it’s not one I am to carry around everywhere with me. This kit is one I now have ready for the individual who just needs a helping hand. The person who just says they’ve had enough and just need time for themselves. I’ve put a random selection of things in this pack from books to films to Vaseline and tissues.
Here you can see what I mean. I have things from pens and a colouring book which can often help de-stress to fiddle blocks and a portable phone charger. I have also included 2 films in it, some tissues, chocolate, hair band and grips, post cards and some good books. I want this kit to be something I can give to people when they need a break and some time to themselves. This kit isn’t probably exactly what the idea of today was. But as someone who has struggled with time for myself and has taken on too much in the past I know how important it is for someone to just give you something to do to relax.
I’d love to hear your views and feelings about my 2 different packs and whether you think there is something I should add?
The one thing I’ve learnt today is that #40Acts is not just about being spontaneous it’s about planning to and having things ready for when you may need them.
I look forward to finding out what tomorrow’s challenge is… hopefully it will involve a bit less thinking than today.