Yesterday, I had my arms loaded up with good deals, and was headed up to the check out when a hanger slipped off one of the shirts I was carrying. Before I could bend down to get it, a little girl–probably about four years old–skipped over to that spot and picked it up for me. She smiled up at me as she handed me the hanger.

I said, “Thank you! That was so kind of you!” And as I said this, the darling little girl turned to smile–not at me, but at her mom, who was beaming her approval. The girl then skipped back over and tucked her hand into her mom’s, and the two of them walked away smiling into each others’ eyes.

The interesting thing to me was that it wasn’t my approval the little girl was enjoying so much; it was her mom’s. She knew she had done well to pick up the hanger for me. But her satisfaction wasn’t just in the good thing she had done. It was magnified by her mother’s approval.

As the child’s sweet, little smiling face lingered in my memory, I mused, ‘Lord, do I ever look up to you with that expression?’ I thought of the 10 loads of laundry I just completed for my family and the group gathered in our home that I had shown hospitality to last night. I thought about the Bible story I shared with the children at church on Sunday, and the writing I had done for an anti-trafficking organization this week. When I finished these ‘good deeds’, what expression lingered on my face? Had I looked to the Lord, and gathered satisfaction from his approval?

At least a couple of times, I remembered sighing my exhaustion, slumping onto the couch, and clicking on the TV with the remote. Which makes me wonder: Was I truly doing these acts of service with my Lord in mind?

I want to be like that little girl. I want to do the good things I do with the Lord in mind. 
  For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13) 

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