A recent study from The Society for Human Resource Management found that “94 percent of millennials want to use their skills to benefit a cause” and “57 percent wish that there were more company-wide service days.” As someone of that generation, I can attest that the pressure to “make a difference” is tremendous. We all want to do great things that create a better world. Unfortunately, I do not have superpowers. Nor do I have Bill and Melinda Gates’ bank account. But what I do have…are doughnuts.
In St. Luke’s 40 Daily Acts of Grace and Mercy: A Lenten Experience, March 29th’s instruction was: “Bring a dozen doughnuts to your office or school today to share.” Doughnuts are not the grand gesture we millennials crave to facilitate. On this particular day, though, they did help bring people together. They brightened my coworkers’ days, and maybe all those people who shared a laugh over a doughnut tried a little bit harder to spread joy. Maybe that group spoke kindly to the people with whom they interacted. And maybe someone several ripples out felt encouraged when they’ve been feeling hopeless.
When Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, people waved palms and shouted, “Hosanna!” which means “Save us!” in Hebrew. This crowd saw the evils and torments of the world and desperately sought the help of a savior. They wanted him to swoop in wearing a cape, fight the bad guy, and conquer the day. But he didn’t do that… No, Christ washed his disciples’ feet, taught his followers how to pray, and gave them bread and wine to remember him by. He was then beaten, tortured, and crucified because his actions did not appear as powerful and mighty as the people had wanted.
The Bible tells us, “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” (John 1:11-13 NIV). Jesus performed magnificent miracles. But he also showed monumental love through acts of mercy and grace. How incredible is it to think that the humblest, simplest deeds can reverberate through so many different lives?
Mother Teresa said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” These Daily Acts are small: riding in the car without turning on the radio (Day 16), mailing a postcard to a loved one (Day 30), bringing a dozen doughnuts to your office (Day 24). Yet – as the children of God – our smallest acts may be used as opportunities to glorify the one who gives the greatest love of all.