What is a “happy heart?”
This is a phrase that has been used in my family ever since I can remember, but what exactly does it mean to have one?
I witnessed the true embodiment of happy hearts today.
Let me preface this by pointing out that homelessness and poverty are HUGE issues in Hawaii.
The church I work for volunteers monthly at a mission center in Honolulu that feeds and caters to the needs of homeless and struggling people in the area. I went with a group last night to work the dinner shift at the shelter. We had a worship service and message, then served food to more people than I could count. We saw teenagers, elderly people, families, and children. It was quite an eye-opening experience to see how so many people live and struggle on a daily basis.
Despite the sad circumstances for why we were there in the first place, there were so many great examples of happy hearts demonstrated in the midst of it all:
The couple running the mission has devoted 20+ years to providing 3 meals a day, shelter, and clothing to the homeless. They spend every single day serving others and making a difference in so many lives without seeking recognition for their good deeds.
Church members who could have been out doing other things gave up their evening off to serve the less fortunate, even if it was just in a small way.
The people who had the least seemed to have the greatest sense of generosity, and were even seen giving their food to those who still looked hungry.
All of these people reminded me of what it truly means to have a happy heart, and encouraged me to actively pursue these qualities:
Doing without being asked
Putting the needs of others above my own
Giving without expecting anything in return
Facing life with a joyful spirit
Loving others unconditionally, as the Lord commanded in John 13:34, “Love one another. As I have loved you.”