Love & Run: Serving others in a practical way

by Trillia Newbell

love and run ideasOne of the many benefits of writing, especially for my local paper The Knoxville News-Sentinel, is meeting various people from all walks of life. It is truly a blessing. One such meeting happened recently as I interviewed a widow about her ministry to other widows. Her love for those ladies and the Lord was intoxicating. I want to be like her in so many ways. She was telling me various ways she has been able to serve others and one was through something she affectionately named, “love and run”.

Often she will pray for God to allow for a time and place for her to purchase something for some unexpected person or family and then leave the place so that they never know who did it. For example, recently she pulled into a McDonald’s and told the drive thru worker that she wanted to purchase the person’s meal behind her. She paid and drove off. Simple enough. Though she will never know the reaction or response of the one who she helped she does know that God is aware of her giving and love of her neighbor and that is all that matters. And this lady isn’t giving out of her abundance, she is not rich. She is simply giving what she can with what she has.

Matthew 6: 1-4 says “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Have you ever served someone or been able to give in secret? It’s so rewarding, isn’t it! To think that God also stores up rewards for those who give for His eyes and His glory alone is simply amazing. God, who sent his son Jesus to die on our behalf, could have stopped there and it would have been more than enough. Yet, He continues to bless us and then will reward us when we see Him face to face.  There is no greater love than this!

Valentine’s Day is all about love. For some it’s also about heartache and pain. What struck me about the woman I was interviewing is that her entire mission was about others. On Valentine’s Day this year what if we made it about others and what they receive rather than about us? What if we joined this woman to think of those who might be in need of some practical displays of love?  Let’s do our very own “Love and Run” this Tuesday- but, shhh, don’t tell anyone what you do, when or how you did it. Just store it in your heart and pray that those who receive would be blessed by it!

Love and Run ideas:

  1. Buy someone’s meal at the table next to you- tell the waitress but don’t tell the guests.
  2. Buy someone’s meal through a drive-thru.
  3. Go to a store and purchase someone’s “lay away”
  4. Bring a meal to a friend in need but send it through a different friend.
  5. Give money to someone in need
  6. Wrack leaves at someone’s home who may need assistance
  7. Drop off a note to a friend or someone you know needs a good word of encouragement.
  8. Call a non-profit organization and find out their greatest need and then give it.
  9. Put together a date package (dinner, movie, etc.) for a husband and wife that is struggling financially.
  10. Go to a grocery store that is not in an affluent part of town and purchase the groceries of the person in line ahead or behind you.
  11. Call your pastor and find out who is in need at your church, pray for them and think of ways you might be able to care for them


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