One of the greatest thing about my gram was that she was generous. My dad used to tell me that she would give someone the shirt off her back if someone asked her. And I will tell you that I have lots of memories of my gram… not all of them are awesome but the great thing about our memory is that we can choose to remember it how we think it happened or the actual event… So I CHOOSE to remember the amazing things about my gram.
I know that God gave me my generous nature because on my own, I’m a jerk hoarder. But as I was packing up some things for a local warming center. It started with dish soap, laundry soap, and toilet paper, and by the time I was done… it was that plus deodorant, plates, forks… and as I was packing it up, I thought “what is the point of having all this unless I give it all away?”
I don’t tell you (my crazy readers) because of what I am doing because honestly I think that God gives me my generous nature. And I love receiving gifts from God, but it is like it says in Acts 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Its not just about stuff. It is about giving grace, forgiveness, and love. I know that God fed about 6 gazillion people with a couple fish sandwiches, but His word tells more about His grace and mercy and love, and forGIVEness. I have to say that when I really live those, my heart overflows.
I think of a quote by Shane Claiborne that says (about communal living) “we haven’t figured out how not to hurt each other”. Well, right behind that quote I try to remember that if I make an error, let me always make it on the side of grace. To really not look at the “wrong” or “offense” against me but to look at the heart of someone, to CHOOSE to look at the heart of something. I ‘ve been known to muck it all up a time or two (or thousand) but I want grace, and I think everyone else does too! And so if I claim to be a Christian, then I am to give it as much as Jesus.
I know that if I live in unforgiveness my fruit rots, and it’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It gives me a stomachache, stupid emotional. HOWEVER if I live in forgiveness, to really love, and forgive an offense, it makes my fruit sweet, and others see it too. They want Jesus too, because if they know me, they know that none of that goodness comes from me (I’m a wretch) but it comes from Jesus and they want it too!
Again, what’s the point of having it, if you can’t give it away?
Thank You Jesus for lessons in free deodorant, and the free gift of love, grace, and forgiveness that didn’t cost me anything, but cost YOU everything!