My friend Alex always gives full size candy bars, no miniatures, to the crowds of children who trick or treat at her front door on Halloween. “I love to hear the kids whisper to each other as they walk down the sidewalk ‘I got a big candy bar’”.
She delights in bringing joy to others.
She stayed up until midnight this week making home-made cupcakes for her work potluck because ‘they taste better than store-bought‘. When a Santa’s helper was needed at a hospital toy handout in a city 3 hours away, Alex volunteered! No matter that she works full time, has three active children, and plenty of her own holiday preparation to do to host 23 for dinner at her house.
I’m sure you notice it, too – a generous spirit is a beautiful thing.
Sadly, my giving sits closer to the miserly side on the giving scale. I tend to measure my time, my energies, my finances – then, give accordingly. A sort of tithe on my storehouse. I’m particularly careful in the giving out of my energies. I’m not proud of this.
“For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
I’m studying Luke in my women’s Bible Study this fall and it’s spoken to me of my own nature with giving.
I’m seeing that how we respond to others is often a reflection of our our own response to God.
There is a story in Luke that uniquely illustrates giving, I think you’ll recognize it. Picture the scene…
Jesus is at a dinner party that he was invited to by a Pharisee, a serious religious guy who probably wanted to get a better look at this Jesus who everyone was talking about. The men were all reclining around the table, and into the scene walks a woman – a sinful woman – who joined the gathering uninvited because she’d heard Jesus was there. She needed to find him – she’d heard his words and in his teaching he’d offered her the unthinkable – acceptance and forgiveness.
So, she crashed that dinner party – knelt at Jesus feet, weeping, and pouring expensive perfume over Jesus dusty feet – feet that his host had neglected to wash; finally, drying his feet with her hair.
It was a remarkable moment. It marked that dinner party – it was talked about – it was written down for all time by God, himself, as an act worth noting.
It was not the social misconduct that was notable; it was not the intimacy of her gesture. What was remarkable was this woman felt compelled by gratitude by what she’d been given to pour out her love for God for all to see. She couldn’t help herself – her heart was full of thanks and it had to come out.
Is my heart overflowing with thanks or is it looking at life with a mind of a glass half full?
Am I looking to be blessed or bless another?
This holiday season may we pause and take a measure of our hearts – and notice the how in our giving- and may we give generously, as we have received.
“Freely, you have received. Freely, give.”
**Lord, gives us fresh eyes to see and a softened heart to experience Your love more deeply. And, may we pour out to others that which we have received.
Linking up with Holley’s CoffeeforYourHeart