“Who does this?!” It was May Day and our niece Retta received a delightful surprise on the doorsteps of her new home ~ May Day baskets from the neighbor children! Who celebrates May Day, I wondered as I read about Retta’s sweet treat, this special act of kindness. People in today’s culture know it only as May 1st and it’s just a normal day to most. But to these children, May 1st meant May Day Baskets, a tradition that dates back to the 19th century. Like the days of old, they decided to put some joy on the doorsteps of their neighbors as they rang the doorbells, left the handmade baskets filled with candy and flowers, and ran off before being noticed!
A simple gesture to brighten the life of another.
Our world sure could use more gestures that brighten each other’s lives. We do have designated times throughout the year to be intentional about this ~ in fact, this is Teacher Appreciation Week throughout schools in the country. Next week is Nurse Recognition Week. We have a specific week of Random Acts of Kindness. And so on.
(pictured are Retta’s May Day baskets)
What if we simply incorporated little gestures throughout each and every ordinary day? Like a patient and kind smile to the cashier at the local market? ~ A refrain from a sarcastic or short tempered comment to the annoying neighbor? ~ A well-mannered compliment for the co-worker? ~ well, you get the idea. We could have May Day every day!
When love is at the core of our being, we turn a simple gesture of kindness into a grand life changer. The smile to the stranger, the compliment for the co-worker, the gentle words of encouragement ~ life changers I tell you!
And the opposite is true as well.
What we do – what we say – how we act – it’s nothing without love.
The famous scripture on love, 1Corinthians 13 starts with the realization that pretty talk, nice actions, wisdom, faith is all for nothing without LOVE. Verse 3 says: “. . . no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”
Nothing without love.
Make today, or any day, May Day. With love at the core of your being, share a simple gesture of kindness with someone ~ you’ll be making a grand life changer when you do. Because little things do add up and people do notice.
Love and blessings to you always!
Janet Krantz, Pastor ~ Alexandria UMC