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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Generosity of Spirit

Loaves and Fishes

Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways, it can change someone else's life forever.”
Margaret Cho

Yesterday, I received an email from the Fellowship Chair at my church—please bring food for the Pentecost picnic this Sunday. My very first thought was, “Not again!” We get a similar email just about every week, which adds one extra thing to an already busy schedule. Bring food for Greater Birmingham Ministries food pantry. Bring food to put in snack bags for the homeless. Give it a rest with the food, already! But then, the thought popped into my head uninvited—“What about the loaves and fishes?” It was one of those, “what would Jesus do” moments that all Christians hate. Oh, no! You mean I have to share? I have to go to the grocery store and purchase food for other people to eat? I have to provide the loaves and fishes? Me?

Some of us are born with a generous nature—we love to give away things. My cousin, Sandy, is like that. She's kept me clothed for years. My dad was like that. He once gave away a magnolia tree that was growing in the yard. My mother knew nothing about his generous gift until the person he gave it to was outside digging it up. I've rarely seen her so mad. For some of us, giving stuff away is not so easy.

Luckily, generosity comes in many forms. It's not just about giving stuff away, giving food away, or giving money away. If you have a lot of stuff, or money, or food, it's good to give some of it away, but if you don't there are other ways to be generous. It's also about showing someone kindness, expressing our belief in someone's abilities. It's about saying words that give hope, or help, or comfort. Everyone loves to hear, “You did a great job!” Or, “I had fun. Let's do this again.” Even small things like, “Let me get that door for you.” Or, “Would you like some help with that?” Or, “Thank you so very much.” These are generous words anyone can give away.

Loaves and fishes, y'all. Miracles for free. Meant to be shared. There are all kinds of ways to feed people.

                                                               In the Spirit,

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