Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
I remember the night I sat across the table from my friend Ann and the words burst from my mouth, “I think I know your ministry! It’s shopping!” I know that sounds strange and even funny, but it is true. I can’t tell you the times she has shown up at my house with a big smile on her face and a beautiful gift bag or box. The offered gift is always extended with the same words, “It’s just a little happy for you.” It said to me that while she was out shopping, she saw something that she knew I would like and grabbed it for me. It could be as simple as a pack of pretty napkins, bath soap, or something to make me laugh like the pink flamingo. Ann finds great joy in shopping for others. A “happy”…. just to remind you that you are loved.
This gift quickly became a part of Touching Hearts Ministry appropriately named, “Happy Basket Ministry”. Many boxes and bags have been filled with inexpensive things to help cheer another who was hurting, discouraged or sick. Thrift stores have been emptied of little treasures to help decorate a home for a hurting woman. Coupons and extra dollars tucked away have purchased items to create beautiful environments for missionaries on furlough. The old school building with barred windows now used as a women’s shelter was quickly turned into a place of beauty and peace from this woman’s heart of love pouring out from her unusual gift.
The world will be a better place if we all follow my dear friend’s example. Every person on this earth needs encouragement whether they admit it our not. Each of us has gifts to share with one another.t may not be an actual gift bag, but a word to bring a lift in another’s spirit. A smile; an open door; a returned grocery cart; a paid restaurant bill; a word from the Lord; a new song. I have many cards with hand written notes sent from loving hearts to encourage me. I read them over and over on days that it feels too hard to keep on serving.
What if we asked God to give us opportunities to be a “Happy Basket” to someone every day? We would fulfill His word:
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
Go be a Happy Basket Today!
By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.” John 13:35 AMP