The JOY of Giving!

I was sitting in my office as a lady quickly made her way through the door. With a huge smile she quietly whispered “Deidra I have a question for you.” If I had a dollar for every time someone has a question for me. By now, I can almost predict every single question. The questions usually center around acceptance into the school or a need in their personal lives. But this question was quite the opposite! The lady said, “I know someone who has a daughter graduating from high school. Yesterday, she was very sad because she doesn’t have money to buy her daughter a special gift. I want to give some money so she will be able to buy a gift for her daughter! Will you please give it to her?”

Here’s the thing. The lady giving the gift is a single mother with multiple children. She works hard to provide the basic necessities for her family. She is saving money to replace some of the tin on her outside kitchen because there are holes in the roof. Cooking over an open fire with a leaky roof during rainy season is not the most ideal situation. Her children are growing and they always need clothes and shoes.

Every thing in me wanted to tell her “No”. I could just give the lady some money for a gift and she could keep her money. But to quote Bro. Johnny Tucker, “Never rob someone the chance to bless others!” I took the money and placed it in an envelope. I asked her if she wanted me to help her write a note for the lady. Nope. Do you want to sign your name? Nope. Do you want me to tell her who gave the gift? Nope. She smiled and said, “It’s a secret!”

She left my office grinning from ear to ear. She actually bounced as she walked away. Thrilled to be able to bless someone else.

And the Lord spoke to me, “Now that’s true JOY in giving!”

My mind immediately went to the story in the Bible about the widow giving her offering. 41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

For whatever reason, I have always thought of a feeble, elderly lady somberly giving all she had into the offering plate. I have no idea why! But now, I picture a woman smiling from ear to ear leaving the temple with an extra bounce in her step. True JOY in giving!

The lady who gave did not see the tears stream down the mother’s face. She did not see this mother’s eyes widen in complete shock. She did not see the mother completely thankful to be able to buy her daughter a small gift.

May we all experience true JOY in giving!

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