Most of us are familiar with the story of the loaves and fishes. It is a wonderful example of the love of Jesus poured out for us. The main focus is on the disciples who show their faith in Jesus as they pass out the food that feeds the large crowd. There is more than enough to go around with twelve basketsful left over. It seems to me that there is one character in the story who is often overlooked–the boy with the original loaves and fishes. He had the foresight to bring food with him. He could certainly have eaten the food himself. Instead, he gave it to Jesus who multiplied his gift and used it to feed the five thousand. It is with this boy that I identify. Every day, I have the chance to do something that will make a difference in someone else’s life. Will I eat the loaves and fishes myself, or will I choose to give them away so that Jesus can multiply my gift? Here are some examples where a simple act of kindness had far-reaching results.
In Texas, a nine-year-old boy named Hector Montoya made the choice to share what he had to benefit others. When Hector saw a story on the news about a house fire in which people died, he asked his mother why they didn’t have smoke detectors. She told him that some people can’t afford smoke detectors. Hector had three hundred dollars with which he planned to buy a PlayStation 4. Instead, he purchased smoke detectors to put in homes of some of his neighbors. Because of his sacrifice, many stores chose to follow his example and give smoke detectors to people in need.
A nineteen-year-old college student heard about a man who had to walk twenty-one miles and take two buses to get to work each day where he earned $10.85. The young man set up a GoFundMe project to raise money to buy the man a car. The site raised over $350,000 which went to help the man and his family. A Ford dealership donated a car.
An eighteen-year-old whose grandmother was turning 89, decided to do 89 random acts of kindness in honor of her grandmother’s birthday. The acts included helping buy food for others and donating blood. She documented her efforts on a Facebook page and has become a role model for others.
Jesus has no hands or feet but ours. He is waiting for us to step up and share our loaves and fishes. Whether we call it Random Acts of Kindness, Paying It Forward or Acts of Mercy, Jesus sees the good that we do and multiplies it.