Helping To Share HIS Love

Written by Erika McKellop, Library Media Specialist.

The whistle blew to end the soccer game, and as the coach I was…how should I put this…less than happy. After an exciting win the week before and another hard fought game that just didn’t go our way, the momentum we’d spent the season building felt deflated.

“Line up, shake hands!” I barked as girls with heads held low dutifully lined up one behind the other.

Except for one. Instead she ran to her bag, reached inside and grabbed a candy bar.

SoSoccer_Girls_Varsity_5O0A2116_09182017me of you may have seen or, even better, been given a Hershey bar with a special message designed by the ICS Advancement Team. The bars have been handed out to help remind us as a school community that one way we can help spread God’s love is by pinpointing specific things we can compliment one another. The bars include a spot for students to leave a personalized message to whomever they have chosen to gift their bar.

So often we get caught in the craziness of our schedules, the kids’ practices, health problems and a myriad of other things we deal with but didn’t necessarily ask for. When you’re in a rush it’s often easier to comment on the bad (“You forgot your books for piano?! AGAIN! SERIOUSLY?!”) than the good (“I like how thoughtful you were to help your brother with his math homework”).

When we notice the good in one another, we acknowledge the reality that every single one of us is created in the image of God. It was never in God’s plan for humans to fight amongst one another, but when we plucked the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden that day, that was the choice we made. And each day since we struggle with the consequences of that choice: to lie or to tell the truth, to run away or to take responsibility, to worry or to trust, my way or God’s way.

In middle school chapel a few weeks ago we discussed how our words have meaning. In Ephesians 4:29 it says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as it is good for building up, as it fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Many students can remember in startling clarity a mean comment or a joke at their expense, but it’s usually harder to remember a compliment. It is our hope that these candy bars are a visual (and, bonus, tasty!) reminder to build up their friends and family by taking a moment to notice what God has made special about them.

As the Serve-A-Thon weeks of service draw to a close, we enter the final week of our season of giving. We are hopeful that God will use this little community to bring in exactly the amount of money needed to assist the schools we’ve pledged to partner with. But we are also hopeful that He will use this time to open our eyes to how we can also give to one another. In Christ, we have the perfect gift. It is our privilege and responsibility to share His love as often and as fervently as we can.

I watched the soccer player jump back in line with Hershey bar in hand. She shook hands with the opposing team’s best player and handed her the bar, congratulating her on the great game. And I was immediately convicted of my bad attitude. I got to watch someone much younger than me show kindness by acknowledging the success of someone else at the expense of her own defeat. There was no fanfare, no “hey everyone, gather ‘round and watch me big the bigger person,” it was just a subtle, sweet moment between two strangers. If I blinked I would have missed it. Since then, some of the people ICS students have blessed with candy bars are:

  • The ICS security guard
  • Mail carriers
  • Starbucks baristas
  • Victims of Hurricane Harvey
  • A cheerleader at a homecoming game
  • Teachers

At ICS we want to create an environment where our students have winning soccer seasons, where they thrive academically and can join any club that interests them. But more than that we hope to instill in them a purpose and hope that can only come through knowing the Lord. Then, that they will turn around and use that purpose to bless others in our community.

The idea behind the Sharing His Love initiative at ICS is inspired by students at West Springfield High School. To view the story behind their campaign, click the video here.