I took my kids to the park the other day to enjoy some beautiful weather. It was a nice, albeit short, reprieve from the abnormally cold winter we’ve had this year (it’s supposed to snow tomorrow … good ole’ Missouri weather). And of course, my kids were magnetically drawn to the little stream running through the park. Both had their shoes off before I could blink, and were really disappointed when I made them put them back on. We’re not shoes people, obviously.
Anyway, we spent time playing baseball and they rode their bikes some, and eventually, they were both flirting with the edge of the creek. When I made it abundantly clear that I did not want them wet, they took to sitting on the bank and dropping rocks and dragging sticks in the water. Then they made a sport of reaching for the trash that was in the middle of the stream and pulling it out. Thirty minutes later, the stream was completely clean and all the trash had been put in a large discarded salt bag they picked up. They were offended by the laziness of people and very happy to see the water free of debris. I was so proud of them. Because they did all of that without expecting to be acknowledged or paid for it. They did it out of the kindness of their heart and the drive to better their little corner of the world.
I think this is the way all of our “works” should be. A silent gift into the lives of others that doesn’t demand a return or a pat on the back. Matthew 6:1-3 tells us this is the desire of our Father:
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,…”