Giving what I have.
It was a simple outpatient procedure with a local anesthetic, but as I lay on the operating room table feeling more than a little scared, it started feeling like a really big deal. I'll never forget when she walked into the room. Just another nurse by all appearances although I never really saw her face or even knew her name, probably because I had my eyes closed most of the time! Somehow she knew my inner distress and came and stood beside me and simply held my hand. In an instant I felt completely comforted because she was with me in every way, completely present. Her peace and compassion were more than just a fuzzy blanket; they were a strong rope, a lifeline in the moment that only she could give.
So why do my pockets feel so empty a lot of the time when I'm faced with all the need that surrounds me? Part of the problem is how often I'm distracted by my own presumptions about what others need or want, and usually I'm wrong. When I look at some of the most precious things I've received throughout my own life from others, even strangers, it becomes very apparent to me that you and I actually have much more to give on any average day and moment than we often realize. The truth is I really can't give what I don't have, but the deeper challenge is for me to recognize that there are specific things in the moment that only I can give to those around me- things like forgiveness, or patience or compassion, or kindness, or LOVE or just acceptance. Much of the time all I have to give, really, is all I need to have because the things that I have available to give are actually just what's needed.
Scripture to consider - Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."
As you walk this journey today, how have I fallen into the trap of believing that what I have to give isn't enough?
What have I received recently from someone that really didn't cost much, but to me it was priceless?
What if the greatest gift God has given to those around me is actually in me?
How can I be more purposeful about really giving what I have to give even if it doesn't seem like a lot?
If I only had one thing to give to others, what would I want to have?
How would my feelings and behavior change if I realized that many times I am the only one who can give what is needed?
How will I invite God to guide me in this endeavor, to give what I have?
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
― Winston Churchhill
“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”
― Amy Carmichael
“The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its
― Charles Dudley Warner
“Always have a willing hand to help someone, you might be the only one that does.”
― Roy Bennett
“Receiving is always attractive, till you're the one giving.”
― Adeyemi Taiwo Eunice
A simple prayer for giving:
Father, today I ask for a deeper awareness of all that you have imparted to me. Thank you that I am filled with the fullness of you and because of that I have everything necessary to respond to any need I encounter. Would you teach me a higher way of giving and a deeper way of loving? Will you reconcile the difference between what I have to give and what I think is needed so that the two become one and the same in my heart?