I get a big kick when I have the impulse to give a gift that’s unexpected. I try to follow through on these impulses because it’s so much fun to give on the regular ole Tuesday rather than at the expected times like Christmas and Birthdays. It’s one of my favorite games I play. I really like to go through with an idea that involves giving something unexpected, and the best part is there’s never any strings attached. I would almost be offended if it were returned in kind. I’d rather the receiver to do the same for someone else. Pass on the kindness. Experiencing the surprise in their faces is reward enough for me. One thing I love to do is send a book to a friend that I know she’ll love. I like to give my kids something they haven’t asked for. But, really my favorite is preparing the packages for the homeless that I keep in my car. I’ve written about it before. In Houston there are many homeless on the highway at traffic lights with their hungy signs and hopeless expressions. When I roll down my window and hand them a meal the expression in their face thrills me. It is so unexpected that someone would be prepared for them! I don’t mean to encourage the street corner begging and that’s why I don’t give money, but I do care that they aren’t fed or are cold so it makes good sense to me to have something to pass along.
Yesterday morning I refilled our bags for the cars. Between the two of us we pass out twenty bags in three months. This care package is my favorite one so far. I included, a 50 cent new testament, a Jesus brochure, a pulltop can of ravioli, spoon, cheese crackers, bag of peanuts, bottle of water, chocolate, pudding and a new pair of socks. The whole pack costs less than five dollars to put together and there’s at least a thousand calories in there. I lose five dollars in the wash without noticing. My mood was so happy as I assembled the bags. It was even more fun to do than wrap Christmas gifts. Later when I went out to buy garden plants, sure enough I rolled down my window and passed one to a guy. The look on his face of surprise was nice, but even better we made eye contact, human to human, no different. It’s easy to care a little more than the usual and it makes a huge impact.