Have you ever been in a situation where money was tight and so you had a difficult time giving? Or are you in that situation now? Well if you are, let me tell you why you should give.
Giving is for your benefit.
A few years ago I was without a traditional 9 to 5 job. I was able to meet my bills, but my situation was tight…seriously tight!
During the second summer of tightness, my son was in summer school and I had to drive him in every morning. Not having worked a traditional job for almost two years, that summer was the height of the tightness, so giving wasn’t at the top of my list (although I did still try to give through volunteering.)
Anyhow, on the route that I took I would always see a homeless gentleman at the light after exiting the highway. Now, this is where the story gets interesting—a little woo-woo even.
One morning I had a banana and an apple in the car. When I pulled up to the light I felt a nudging to give him my fruit and all the change I had in the car. He appeared very grateful and I felt good to be able to help him.
The next morning, I found 26 cents on the way to the car. I felt to give him the 26 cents. I didn’t think it was much, but again, he seemed grateful for it. While at the light, I struck up a conversation with him. I learned his name and heard his story about why he was homeless. I shared a resource with him—a center—that could help him begin to rebuild his life. Then the light turned green.
About a week later as I prepared to drive my son to school, I felt the urge to pack food and gather a few dollars together to give to him. I wondered, “Why are you doing this? How do you even know he’ll be there?” And I thought, “You need to preserve your groceries.” But I followed my intuition. Again, he appeared grateful.
Later that day I was driving home and as I arrived at a light close to home, the homeless gentleman came to mind. A conversation in my head began and it went like this:
Me: Why did I give that man my food and money? How do I know he even used it?
Myself: Sheron, how do you know that man wasn’t God?
Me: God! What are you talking about? How could the man be God?
Myself: Because you know that if you give to the least of these, you have given to God. *
Me. [Silence, then…] Oh my goodness. And if God is in me, then essentially I have given to myself!
Myself: Yes. And all of that was for you to see and know your own heart.
I sat in my driveway and gave thanks because I was able to move beyond myself to see that while I was a blessing to him, he was a blessing to me. We were a blessing to each other. That was a humbling moment. And get this: less than a month later I became employed…nicely!
I believe the lesson here is obvious: don’t be stingy. If you are able to give, then give. Even when you think your bit is too little, your little bit is really a lot. And the other lesson, definitely for me and hopefully for you is that when you give to someone else in need, you are essentially giving to yourself. So recognize who you are, and say it with me…
I AM a blessing.
If you’ve been inspired, then please share below and inspire others.
*Matthew 25:40 – “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (NIV)
Photo by my son: Uriah Adin.