I was sitting in my car this beautiful December afternoon, windows down, soaking up some Vitamin D...I was actually sitting in the Walmart parking lot waiting on my daughter to "run in real quick." (Turned into a 35 minute run. Had to let you know that!) Today had been "one of those days" when nothing seemed to be going quite right. My car had been backed into and the back fender was a sight, I ran into a piece of furniture and bummed my knee, and I just didn't feel quite up to par. I was surviving however - and with a good attitude too; for that I was thankful. Yes, God is still good and faithful even on our not-so-good days.
As I sat there enjoying the moment, I listened to the Salvation Army man that stood outside the Walmart entrance ringing his bell. The sound usually gets annoying to me in only a few short minutes. However, today was a different story. The gentleman at the door not only rang his bell but he was singing carols too...and keeping beat with the little golden bell he held. It was quite comical but neat all the same. He was different.
"Joy to the world..." he sang. Ding. Ding. Ding went his bell. I sat there in the car for about ten minutes or so enjoying being secretly serenaded. He'd finish one song, then begin another and I found myself smiling and humming along. A welcome break from my crazy day. I suddenly started gathering all the coins I could find from the little nook in my console, jumped out of the car, and headed his way. I dropped my donation in the little red bucket and smiled at him, "Don't ever quit singing!", I said. He grinned real big and looked back up at me as I turned and walked back to my car.
So, what I'm challenging us to do today is this: We're all uniquely different in our own quirky ways. God made us that way. Don't be afraid to do what your soul is telling you to do today. Listen. Feel. If it is telling you to sing, then do so loudly, even if you think you cannot carry a tune in a bucket. If it tells you to smile at someone, do so. If it tells you to leave a "bigger" tip, do so. We never know how living our lives out fully today might affect someone who might be secretly watching.
What if you could be the difference for someone today? What if you could bring a smile to someone's face or be the start of a song in someone's heart? Would you pass up the opportunity? There are many hurting people out there, even more so during this holiday season. Don't be afraid to do something out of the ordinary and maybe even bring a little Christmas cheer to someone who's having a not-so-good type of day. Don't be afraid to be yourself, whatever that looks like, you might make a bigger difference than you'll ever realize. Be a bell ringer!
A special thanks to all those in the Salvation Army for doing your part. Let us all be mindful of peace, joy and hope that this holiday was founded upon. Jesus!