When was the last time you or I showed love to a complete stranger?
Have we ever?
We’re walking through our 31 Days of Loving God & Loving Others. Today, Day 9, we are looking at loving those we don’t know.
Why would we want to do such a thing??
It can be simple to show love to our family, our friends, those we do life with. (We’ll touch on those soon.) But what about those we consider “strangers?”
When you were young you were probably taught, as was I, not to talk to strangers. Out of safety, our parents or the adults in our lives drilled that into our little brains. They were trying to protect us, and rightly so. But, many of us have carried that teaching with us into adulthood, and we don’t have anything to do with “strangers.”
Of course, we still want to be safe, and not allow ourselves to be put in compromising or unsafe situations, especially in this day and age.
There’s a truth, however, about showing love (hospitality) to strangers that impacted me from the very first time I read it. It’s Hebrews 13:1-2.
Loving others also means showing love to strangers.
How do we do that??
I can guess we all have experienced someone we didn’t know being nice to us in a creepy sort of way. Something didn’t seem quite right. You felt uncomfortable and uneasy. You didn’t really care to return the friendliness, but instead, felt you needed to run.
Am I right?
How do we show love to people we don’t know? We want to be nice, but not be creepy.
Below are some practical ways.
17 Ways To Show Love To A Stranger (Without Being Creepy!)
1. Hold the door open for someone.
2. In a drive-thru lane, pay for the person’s order behind you while you’re paying for yours.
3. Fill another’s expired parking meter.
4. Be friendly. Smile. Say hello.
5. Let another go first in the checkout lane.
6. Give someone else the close-to-the-door parking space.
7. When grabbing your cart at the grocery store, grab one for the person waiting behind you.
8. While waiting in a restaurant, on the subway, in a store, anywhere, give your seat to someone who is standing.
9. Pay for the meals at the table next to yours.
10. Bake cookies for a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
11. Donate clothing (especially new socks and underwear) to a local mission or homeless shelter.
12. Purchase a to-go meal for someone in need.
13. Ask the principal or secretary at your child’s school some ways to help struggling families or students, then fill the need.
14. Volunteer where others are served.
15. After receiving great customer service, write a note to that place of business and praise the person who gave you the great service.
16. Thank the person who serves you–at the checkout lane, restaurant, etc. Leave a larger-than-necessary tip when applicable.
17. Smile at the person who cut you off in traffic.
Pick one to do today, and one to do tomorrow. Add any ideas below!
Today, I plan to write a note to the place of business where the person helping me made me feel I was her most important customer.
Showing love to people we don’t know (safely) can be easier than we first thought. Have fun doing so!