A little gesture

June 2nd, 2020

Governor Cuomo of New York described it as “humanity at its best.” He was referring to a simple handwritten letter with one brand-new N95 mask included in the envelope sent from a small-town farmer in rural Kansas. In his letter, Dennis Ruhnke shared how he and his wife, Sharon, have been sheltering-in-place while dealing with fears of Covid-19 affecting Sharon’s already poor health. As a farmer, Dennis possessed five N95 masks, which he acquired for cleaning out a grain bin. And while his family of four was now using those masks to stay healthy, he knew his one unused mask could be utilized by a health-care worker. So, instead of letting that mask go unused, he mailed it to Governor Cuomo along with a note expressing the simple desire that it be passed on to a nurse or doctor in New York.

Kindness rewarded

Ruhnke’s actions have not gone unnoticed. His letter went viral on social media and was ultimately brought to the attention of the president of Kansas State University. For his generous act and in light of four decades of agricultural work, KSU awarded Mr. Ruhnke a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, which he was only two credits shy of completing in 1971. When interviewed later as to why he sent the mask, Ruhnke responded: “I would have felt terrible if I threw it away, but it made me feel pretty good to send it on to somebody who might be able to use it. So I thought, it was just one little gesture. But maybe if you get enough of these little gestures, it will all come out for the better in the end.”

Appreciate the small gestures

Jesus would agree with Mr. Ruhnke’s statement. In Matthew 10, while providing final instructions to his commissioned disciples, Jesus reminded them that even receiving a cup of cold water from a stranger is a meaningful gesture and a powerful way to offer blessing to another. Likewise, we are called to both offer and appreciate the small gestures and blessings in our lives.

Question of the day: Where have you witnessed or experienced generosity during the pandemic?
Focal scriptures: Job 1:20-22; Ruth 1:11-22; Matthew 10:42

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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