#40acts – the 241 blog

It’s a two for one blog today as I didn’t blog on Friday. Friday’s #40acts was titled “Litterbug” and the verse was:

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it…”
(Psalm 24:1 NIV)

The options were:

GREEN OPTION:
Pick up five pieces of litter today.

AMBER OPTION:
Keep a pair of protective gloves in your pocket or bag, ready to remove debris wherever you go. You could even separate out the litter to recycle at home.

RED OPTION:
Plan a community clean-up day. Advertise it as widely as you can and gather a team to systematically work through specific areas. Spread the word on social media with the hashtag #40acts.

What did I do?

I live in Singapore. You have to look long and hard to find litter. From Friday to Monday I found 3 pieces to put in a bin – and I was really looking too. Community beach cleans and litter picking take place weekly, usually on Sunday mornings. There was nothing to add to them and I can’t join in because of the timings. I felt pretty deflated not being able to achieve this one.

Monday morning

Monday morning saw a trip to the dentist for a check up. The second appointment of the day, so I thought I would be in and out quickly. Unfortunately the person who had the first appointment had to have emergency dental work (I later discovered) and I sat waiting (and silently fuming) for 40 mins. My check up took 5 mins.

I decided to have a coffee and rethink plans for the day now I had been thrown out of sync. When I reached the coffee shop the elderly gentleman in front of me was seemingly confused and struggling with cash – so I asked the cashier to take my cash to pay for his coffee. She laughed and said it would be fine in a minute. I repeated that I was happy to pay but she smiled at me and said it was fine. Now I thought this was really odd but I waited and the gentleman paid and smiled at me and collected his coffee.

I ordered my coffee and all became clear. The man in front of me had actually paid for my coffee! Now I know why she laughed when I offered to pay for his. The local newspaper had advertised that people could buy coffees for others at Starbucks and the elderly gentleman was carrying a copy of the newspaper and had asked to buy a coffee for someone. Starbucks were running this promotion with the Singapore Kindness Movement.

I was given the option of taking the free coffee or paying it forward to the man behind me and letting him take the free coffee. If I did this then I paid $6 (£3.32) for my coffee (receiving a discount). I decided to pay it forward and took my coffee for $6. I went over and thanked the elderly gentleman. I hope a chain reaction has started and the person who really needs a free coffee receives it. It’s such a wonderful kind thing to do and I will be back tomorrow to pay for someone else’s coffee to start paying it forward again.

It cheered me up no end after such a rubbish start to the day.

Monday’s #40acts – Friend Indeed

Verse

“Sweet friendships refresh the soul and awaken our hearts with joy…”
(Proverbs 27:9 TPT)

Options

GREEN OPTION:
Call a friend who you know is struggling and ask them how they are.

AMBER OPTION:
Give a small thing like a card or their favourite food to let a friend who is sad know that you are thinking of them.

RED OPTION:
When you speak to someone, listen carefully to what they tell you and, if anything rings alarm bells, ask them if they’d like you to go with them to get extra support elsewhere.

What did I do?

I achieved the green option today mainly because I wasn’t meeting anyone. I messaged and emailed friends and relatives to see how they were. The amber option comes rather naturally to me as I live baking and I also make cards when I have some time.

The red option intrigued me though- how often do friends really open up to what is going on in their lives? Sometimes we all just want a break from the day to day reality of life when we meet up with friends. I’ve found recently that opening up and making myself vulnerable makes it easy for others to do the same. It’s a big step to take in friendships and definitely takes the relationships into the next level. Maybe we should all do it more and stop trying to present to everyone that everything is always alright – because let’s face it – it rarely ever is and life is not a bed of roses. (Well I suppose the thorns might make it a bed of roses!).

Let’s all start being real with each other and then there will be more opportunities to lend a helping hand, developing deeper relationships.

Peace, love and harmony.

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