Friday, April 27, 2018

The ministry of magazine gifting

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All of my adult life I have been annoyed by the (usually) poor quality of magazines at public waiting rooms, such as barber shops, auto repair shops, and doctor’s offices. The latter are particularly notorious for having unappetizing stuff like Golf Digest or Gynecology Today as they only reading materials available. Hair salons, where I have often taken my wife, are also notorious for their awful stuff that varies from entertainment rags to catalogs for nail polish.

Last year, when my wife spent a two weeks in the hospital mending a broken bone in her leg, I noticed the hospital waiting rooms were also ill stocked.  Nothing was offensive, but little was worth reading.

It struck me that I have many magazines in my home, and some of these could do useful duty in the hospital’s waiting rooms. I inquired with a nurse if I could donate and place my used magazines in the waiting rooms. She said I was welcome to do so, provided that the personal mailing sticker is removed. I did not ask the reason why, but I guess it is a privacy issue of some sort. (Have you ever noticed magazines in waiting rooms with the stickers cut out?)

I went to work and prepared four bundles of magazines for the four waiting rooms on the floor that my wife was on. Each contained a mix of several good secular magazines and Christian ones. The bundles included a copy of National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and several copies of Charisma and Christianity Today. The Christianity Today magazines were in pristine condition.  I subscribe to CT so that I can read it online without restraint during the slow time at my work. Subscribing to it gives me access to the archives of it and as well as its fine sister magazines, such as the wonderful (but alas, defunct) Books and Culture.
Most of my magazines generally come in plastic envelopes, so I did not even have to do any cut outs. I prayed over the bundles, asking the Lord to bless especially the Christian magazines so that they might do the work of evangelization and discipleship. As in many ministries, I do not know, nor am I responsible, for the results of this effort. I just trust the Lord that His Kingdom will be expanded and enriched in some way by people reading them.

I now make it a practice to have a reserve bundle or two ready to go in care I get a call to visit a sick fried or must make an unexpected doctor’s appointment. I would encourage you to do likewise.

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