“She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.”
We talk a lot about giving in the church, giving financially, giving our time, giving our gifts, etc. And part of that is for good reason – giving is part of our call as members of the Body of Christ, and giving is also part of our call as people living together in this world.
And what many people will tell you, or at least what I’ll tell you, is that when we give of ourselves, we receive too.
Now this isn’t “prosperity gospel” stuff, I’m not going to tell you that if you give to your church or your community that God is going to reward you with more money or more stuff.
God doesn’t want you to give your gifts because you’re going to get more out of it. God is calling you to give because God is working through you. You are the hands and feet of God. You are the one who opens your hand to the poor, and when you do you’re opening God’s hand, you’re sharing God’s love and grace with that person.
And there is something about God working through you, that blesses you. Maybe not with riches, but with joy, with love.
The example that comes to my mind immediately is last summer when I helped lead our youth mission trip to Los Angeles. We were staying in a complex reserved for women and their children who were experiencing homelessness. That day had been particularly hard, I had been up since 4am and our group had gone to a mission on skid row to serve breakfast. I was tired, exhausted, and ready to avoid people until dinner time.
But as I was heading towards our room to hide away and take a nap, one of the toddlers who lived in the complex had tripped and fallen out of her chair. As she screamed and cried I waved to her mom and went to check on her. I told her my name and I asked her if she was okay. Before I could even finish my sentence, she had run into me with her arms around my legs and reached up for me to pick her up.
I spent the next hour playing with her, her sister, and their friend.
I was giving my time, my gifts as an adult to make a boo boo go away, but I received so much more in that time with those little ones. They brought me joy, laughter, and peace when I needed it most.
How has God used you? What gifts have you been blessed with, and what giving have you been blessed by?