All of us do things. We try to do our best at something, at least. We take our skills and resources and experiences and we look at the problems we see in the world, facing the people who are close to us, and we do something to help.
We often think we aren’t doing enough. Those who are working hard in the rooms of the hospital are often afraid that they aren’t doing enough. That as treatment don’t work fast enough or don’t work at all, we are not doing enough. And I think that it happens on the other side of the bed as well, as you are sick and you are trying hard to get back to well, you are frustrated by everything you cannot do.
All of that sense of failure gives a tremendous opportunity to the people who can notice what is working. Who can see love expressed in actions and can point it out.
In our Advent journal, I call it “identifying coolness.” What’s a cool thing that you saw someone do for someone else?
My friends Rob and Meg are in the picture. Rob published a book this year. Megin read a book to her mom, a memoir that her mom had written years ago. She read it to her in the days while her mom was fading away. The books are cool. The reading of the books is cool.
That’s what I mean.
There is a thread of encouragement in Paul’s letters, where he points out what specific things people have done to be helpful to him and to others. The third chapter of Nehemiah is a list of the names of people who had worked on rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. We can read a list of the names and actions of David’s mighty men.
Today, look for acts of coolness. Point them out to the people who do them. Because they probably aren’t aware. It will bring them joy, and you as well.