We're reading chapter 5 in It's No Secret this week and talking about giving. Is giving something that comes hard or easy for you? It doesn't come natural to me, but I do recall a few early times I wanted to give...
A strong early memory I have of wanting to give someone a gift dates back to elementary school. I wanted to give my dad a Father’s Day present – an actual gift, not just a picture I’d colored for him. Only I had no way to go buy a present. So I rooted around in the back of his closet and found an old, probably out-of-style tie that I had never seen him wear. I wrapped it up and presented it to him. Dad played along, pretending he didn’t recognize it. He smiled, hugged and thanked me.
I beamed over his apparent pleasure as I got my first taste that it is more blessed to give than receive. Up until that early point in my life, I'd only really received.
I also recall the first time I gave to a stranger. With my newly minted driver’s license in my jeans pocket, I headed to the mall with a friend. At a stop light I noticed a man outside with a sign that read: “Will work for food.” I’d never seen anything like this.
I continued on to the mall but couldn’t get him out of my mind. As I turned my two-seater around, my friend questioned, “Where are you going?” “To buy that guy back there some food,” I said. I certainly had no work to offer him.
We went through the Hardees’ drive-thru and I used the paycheck from my part-time job to buy a value meal. I couldn’t fully read it, but I’ll never forget the look on his face when I pulled up to the intersection, held out the bag and said, “Here you go.” He paused for a few seconds, with that look, then accepted it and kindly said, “Thank you very much.”
Years later I realize this could well have been a scam. Some who beg are not destitute or honest. Some don’t intend to work for food at all. At the time though, that never occurred to me. And something good was cemented in my heart that day as I experienced what it felt like to help a stranger in need. So I care not if he was for real, because I learned a very real lesson about blessing others from him.
I learned the act of giving blesses me as well.
Can I challenge you to keep your eyes out this week for someone you can give to?