Secretly Do Good Deeds
Melody Carlson & Susan Reagan
Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002
Most kids don’t have to be taught to like being sneaky. We parents might think that’s an entirely bad thing, but I think it actually might not be…
Secretly Do Good Deeds is a short and sweet little book that demonstrates the joy that comes from blessing others anonymously. The narrator tells about secret missions she’s gone on to (among other things) clean up her best friend’s room, weed her neighbor’s garden, and cheer up a relative. Half the fun of it, she says, is getting to see the surprised look on their faces when something wonderful and unexpected happens to them!
This book is a bit different than some of the other books that we’ve reviewed, but I love it nonetheless. One of the reasons, I think, is that its message is true but often forgotten. We focus on teaching our children to listen and follow directions or on teaching them right from wrong, but in the process we sometimes forget to communicate the very real joy that we can experience when we help others. Small acts of kindness, done in secret (as Jesus encourages us to do), bless the recipient but they also bless the giver. It’s one of those messages that seems like it might be a trick to get children to obey until we realize that it’s actually true!
I read this book just in time for Valentine’s Day next week, but long after that holiday has come and gone I’ll still be plotting how I can serve my family, surprise my friends, and help my neighbors. In short, this book’s message is contagious, so if you read it to your kids you won’t be able to assume that they’re up to no good if you catch them creeping around the house with a sly smile on their faces. They might, in fact, be up to a lot of good – and taking great delight in it.