Recently our church youth group did a lovely bit of giving that I was fortunate enough to be in on. Three teams of about eight people each went out onto the streets of our local college community and offered hot chocolate to anyone they might meet. There was no agenda–just time set aside to give.
The kids tugged red wagons filled with cups and hot chocolate. I baked up a bunch of tiny pumpkin muffins, too, just for fun. They danced along in the dark, calling out to anyone who might be walking the streets, or on a skateboard, or sitting on a corner bench. Isla Vista, the resident community of UC Santa Barbara is a happening place, so people weren’t hard to come by.
Would you like some hot chocolate? Our youth would ask. Uh, no thanks, most passersby would say.
A pumpkin muffin, maybe? And then someone from our group would yell, It’s FREE!!!!!
Really? was the typical response. After all, we were talking to starving college students, and some homeless folk. Most times the offer of free would incite a complete turn around, or a skid to a stop, and our kids quickly poured, relishing in the connection, making small talk about midterms or about the weather. And then the kicker question would inevitably arrive…
WHY are you doing this?
And they’d say, Because…. it’s Wednesday!
That’s it–it’s Wednesday?
And usually the person would cock his head and say something like, that’s so cool, or yeah, it’s Wednesday, isn’t it?
No agenda. Just giving. No flyers to solicit folks to come to church, or spiritual lectures or hopes to connect again. Just hot chocolate and pumpkin muffins in the dark–one person giving to another.