There is no question that there are a multitude of needs in this world. I have tried narrowing my attention to the one small town I live in and it still can be a bit overwhelming at times.
I get requests weekly for things small and large. Some I can meet from my own cupboards or closets. Others I must present to what my husband calls my “posse” of friends and acquaintances who have said they are willing to help. I am continually amazed and humbled that these people always come through.
The last couple weeks it seems we have been playing “Musical Money.” Money for needs is coming from a variety of places for a variety of needs. It briefly passes through my hands or my home, on its way straight to where it is needed. All we’re really doing is redistributing the finances.
Recently there was a need brought to my attention that required approximately $400. Honestly, I do not have an extra $400 and I don’t know anybody that I can ask for such a large sum of money. I got to thinking though… I think I know 20 people who would be willing to give $20 for this need. I am so blessed to be surrounded by people who are willing to give, not just monetarily but with their time, talents and their very lives. I also have wonderful friends who truly cannot afford to give $20. Recently, my heart was pierced when one such friend got resourceful with what she does have. We were talking over lunch about this challenge to find 20 people that could help meet the need in a timely manner.
She began to brainstorm how she could help. She told me of a shed full of aluminum cans that she had been saving for nearly two years. She explained that though it wouldn’t bring a lot of money, she had used it as a safety net in case things ever got really desperate for her. She went on to explain that now that she had found a church home and friends in Salina, she knew she would never need to use the cans. She offered them to me to help meet this need. I hardly knew what to say. Then she told me about a butter knife that she had also set aside ‘just in case.’ When I took her home that day, she did not let me leave without that knife.
My amateur photography skills could not get a good picture of it. Inscribed on the knife, is “H, S, B & Co. – Our Very Best – Pure Silver Metal.”
My friend is thinking it may be worth something if it is all silver. It may be.
I am thinking that the lesson to me is worth far more than silver or gold. I may be wrong, but I am thinking I can not pawn that knife. I need to carry it with me or have it on display in my home. I need the constant reminder that I am blessed, not only with friends who can write out a check for $20, $50 or $100, but with friends that will give all their cans and a single valuable, entrusting it to me, full of faith and anxious to live their life to pay it forward. I stand in awe at the nearly $400 that was given to me in less than three days for a person none of them know. However, I am humbled by this friend’s individual gift. When I look at that butter knife, I could just cry.
Recently, Isaiah 58:10-12 has taken on new life for me, especially when read from The Message (thank you Jen Hatmaker for bringing it to my attention in this version)…
“If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places- firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.”
When we are generous – no matter what that means to each one of us individually; when we start giving of ourselves to those with less, God assures us that our lives will begin to glow in the darkness and will be bathed in sunlight! The end result of what He will do in and through us is that our communities will be made livable again! I am seeing this process up close and personal and I can tell you… it is incredible! This sharing of our money and our resources is indeed, music to His ears!
Giving Together With You,