A little Happiness would be nice
I loved the work I was involved in for almost 12 years - caring for people in our community. I loved to invite them into my room when nudged by God, so I could pray with them. One day last year, a lady with sad eyes came into our office. I remember her well. She smiled but I knew there was something amiss. I helped her with her practical needs. And just before she left, asked her the question I’d often ask of our clients.
“Would you like to me to pray with you?”
“Oh thank you. That would be lovely” she replied.
“And how can I pray for you?”
I will never forget her response. She smiled her sad sweet smile. Then she said it.
“A little happiness would be nice.”
It stopped me in my tracks. ‘A little happiness would be nice.’ It went straight to my heart. I hugged her. Tears filled her eyes and mine. We sat down together and she shared her story. Her life was difficult; she was struggling with depression. And oh how my heart went out to her. ‘A little happiness would be nice’. Yes, it would. As I prayed with her that day I prayed not for just a little happiness but a lot of it. I asked God to open the way for her. To lead her into His best. To bless her with His joy just as He's often filled me to overflowing through His boundless grace and love. And then I shared with her the Source of all joy; Jesus.
A little happiness would be nice. Not only for her. But for many people in the world today who have sad, empty lives. Just today I was chatting on the phone to a new friend – she too is finding life very hard right now and told me she is deeply depressed. I’m sure she’d echo the same sentiments. “A little happiness would be nice”.
As I ponder on the statement, I’m reminded that we who are His disciples are called to be salt and light in the world today. We are called to share His good news with everyone; to offer the same glorious hope we have been given. It only takes a few minutes of listening to the daily news to discover how bad it is out there in the big wide world today. Poverty, war, sickness, crime, strife. The world needs a bigger helping of happiness.
I've been blessed with the gift of time this year and I have appreciated it. It’s meant that I’ve had time to listen more than I usually do. It meant that I can enjoy an unexpected, meaningful conversation with my neighbour or a stranger I’ve met in the shopping centre. It meant I could invest more time helping my son or blessing my husband. It meant that I could be ready to share a little of happiness around when God asked me to.
What are ways then that I could share a little happiness? Mother Theresa said ‘“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” Here are some obvious and simple ways we could scatter a little sunshine into the lives of those around us.
Smile at strangers. A smile can give a joyful lift to someone’s day.
Listen. Listen. Listen. Talking is often easier much easier than listening – but oh the gift we give a fellow traveller when we care enough to listen.
Pay a visit to someone who’s lonely.
Give an unexpected gift for no reason.
Call someone who would appreciate a call.
Write a letter. Emails, snail mail, cards, eCards, text messages…. there are plenty of ways to send a little joy around, don’t you think?
Be ready for God’s tap on my shoulder – so I could change gears if needed, to do what He asks me to do.
Be intentional in the way I live. Seek out ways to bless. Every day.
Pray for those in need. Pray for anyone. Pray for everyone.
Live as Jesus did. With compassion and grace. Reach out whenever it’s needed.
St Francis of Assisi said: "Preach the word; and when necessary use words." What a powerful way to express the truth. Are we doing that? Not all of us can do great things and that’s all right. But we can all do small things with great love. A little happiness would be nice, wouldn't it? Let's spread it around this Christmas.
“You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:13, 14
“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16