Our verse for today comes from Luke 2:10, ” Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.’ “
Many years ago, before there were cell phones, there existed something called a phone booth. If a person wanted to make a phone call, rather than pulling out his phone from his pocket, he would enter the booth, shut the door behind him, deposit his ten cents, and make his phone call. In fact, many of us as a child were instructed by our parents to always carry a dime with us, in case we needed to call home. Some researchers did a study in the early 1970s involving the phone booth and that all-important dime. The set-up was to have one of them walk by the booth just as a caller was emerging. Some of the callers had benefitted from finding a dime that had been ” left ” in the booth, and others had not. The passer-by would then drop a small bundle of papers, and the test was to see how many of the people exiting the booth would help to pick up the papers. Amazingly, only 4% helped when they had not found a dime. And just as shocking by comparison, 84% helped when they had found a mere dime and gotten a free phone call. Ten little cents, the cost of a stamp or a quick call to a friend. That’s all it took to make an enormous difference in someone’s behavior towards a complete stranger.
And so, the question comes to us. Not the question of whether we would help or not. Practically all of the test subjects would have said beforehand that they would help. The question for us is, are we leaving behind dimes to encourage others? You’ve heard of those, and perhaps done it yourself, who give extra money at the drive thru to help pay for the meal of the car behind them. That simple gesture, and a hundred others just as simple, most of which don’t even involve money, is a small but impactful way to leave a dime, a dime which encourages the next person to do the same. I like to think that it’s more about the love and grace of God. Either way, get out your roll of dimes, and start leaving them everywhere you go.
As we seek Him today, look for ways to do something more than what is expected. Do the unexpected, as God has done for us.
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