I have been blessed…
I almost jumped out of my skin when I heard her voice. But there she was standing by the corner outside the store asking for loose change. It was unusual to see a panhandler in this quiet suburb, after all it is a community that is far away from the core of the city and at this time of the day this grocery store is normally very quiet.
As I walked by I heard her mumbled. I wonder what is her story, and why she would choose this particular place to ask for money. She definitely had picked the wrong person because I only carry “plastic” in lieu of cash. It is also my rule of thumb not to give out cash but help with food or bus tickets instead. As I walked into the store something tugged at my heart, obviously this woman is in need of something, I do not know her situation and it is not up to me to judge whether or not she deserves to be helped. Guilt took over and I dug through my purse on my way out and found a handful of change which was not even enough for the parking meter. As I walked by the woman I gave her what I had and expected that she would curse at the amount. Yet to my surprise, she thanked me gratefully ! Who would have thought that a few coins could bring her so much joy?
It was only a handful of change, not enough to do anything and yet it was like manna to this woman. As I drove home I felt my spirit being uplifted by her reaction. If ever it was a timely lesson as that week I was struggling to deal with the concept of giving. God taught me through this woman the fact that I give not because it is a convenience, nor the person is worth it. I give simply out of love for the Lord. It is never about me, nor what I expect in return. But somehow, when I give with a willing heart out of love and compassion, I am the one who received blessing the most. It is when I have freely received blessings from the Lord and realized the magnitude of His grace then I in return bless and show grace to others. It is a natural out flow of gratitude…. and God has commanded me to be a channel of blessings and not a bucket ! I am not to hoard blessings just for my own personal indulgence or enjoyment and as His child it is my privilege and responsibility to pay it forward.
It is definitely better to give than to receive.