Give me a present, love someone else.

Jon SwansonIt’s birthday time again. I turn 51 tomorrow (July 10).

Last year I put up a list of 8 things to do for my birthday. It led to a number of really nice stories of people helping other people. So I decided that I want the same things again.

1. If you know someone who can’t afford to go out to lunch with your office group, slip them a $10 anonymously. Bring them into community. (If you don’t know someone, send something to the local rescue mission.)

2. If you know someone who is fighting cancer or Alzheimer’s or panic attacks or depression, sit with them, listen to them. (To know how, see Jim Hughes.)

3. If you know someone who locked up for something they didn’t do–or even something they did–send them a note. If you can, visit them. Talk to them. The people I know who have been on “ankle bracelets” could use someone being kind.

4. There are people who go shopping at Goodwill and Salvation Army. They can’t afford more than the $2 for a pair of slacks. So pack a bag and drop it off.

5. Sometimes people get to demand your time (bosses in particular). Throw one of those people off-balance by offering to help on the next part of the project.

6. Shake hands with someone who no one else will touch. Or at least look them in the eye and talk to them.

7. Tell God that you can’t figure everything out yourself.

8. Find a little kid–a niece, a neighbor, your own–and listen for how they talk about what they believe. Listen to their trust.

That’s it. Do one of those things for me. Tell them Jon sent you.

(It will be easier to explain an internet friend than explain that Jesus said these things, too, in Matthew 25.)


13 responses to “Give me a present, love someone else.

  1. Ah, it’s now a tradition. 🙂

    Happy birthday, friend. (Read that part tomorrow.)

  2. Nice post! I think it’s good to take some time to reflect on how the little things we can do in life can have a big effect on the world. It’s my birthday tomorrow as well. I’ll see which of these I can check off:) Happy Birthday!

  3. Consider it done Jon! Happy Birthday!

  4. Becky – yep. 2 data points make a trend.

  5. Tyler – Happy Birthday to you, too!

  6. Happy Birthday, Jon! And thanks for the link back.

  7. thank you, Jim. You are doing great work.

  8. Sandy Faulkner

    Happy Birthday.
    I’ll see what I can check off.

  9. Sandy – great! thanks! have delight.

  10. Happy Birthday Jon.
    I’ll endeavor to do at least one of these today (and every day).

  11. northpointcc

    Happy birthday, Jon – great requests.