Experiencing generosity has a way of opening our hearts to extend generosity.

This has been true many times in my life, and probably more than ever since we moved to Atlanta. Here we are surrounded by poverty and we get to witness so many people sharing their time and resources to meet other peoples’ needs.  This week someone showed me an example of generosity and now I’m wanting to be a better giver.

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On Wednesday Ruthann drove a little over an hour to spend a day and night with us while Steve was out of town for a couple days. She helped me with housework and childcare during the day. She’s the kind of person who is not intimidated by the mess and dirt in our house and she’s quick to encourage other people. We laughed and talked together over chicken coconut wraps<< on the patio, and had a fun evening walking the Beltline with lots of other Atlantans.

<<a link to the recipe, so you can make them, too

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On the way back to our house we pulled up to a stoplight, and a woman with a cardboard sign caught my attention. We talked through the window, found out what she was needing, and I told her we would buy her some food.

(One of the boys offered the last two bites of the Larabar he was eating. So sweet of him, but we let him finish his snack.) :)

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We drove into a nearby drive thru and Ruthann  pulled her wallet out of her bag. She said she would like to pay for the food we were buying, “Because we don’t get the opportunity to do this for people as often where we live.”

Ruthann’s gesture of paying for the food, her spirit, and the way she saw serving as an honor was so beautiful to me. That word opportunity  has been circling my thoughts ever since.  I’m realizing that as these opportunities have become routine for me, they have started looking a lot less shiny and a lot more inconvenient.

When we got back with the food it took us a minute to find the lady again, but she was still there. She seemed really hungry and almost snatched the bag from my hand. I was so glad we had gotten food for her. We also left info about where to call for more resources.

It’s so good to see our life through fresh eyes. After hearing Ruthann’s perspective, I’m thinking of how much more I could give. Instead of simply handing a bag of food, I could also hop out of my car and give a hug, too. (Kind, human touch is something people living homeless do not get very often.) I could easily spend a few more minutes to really listen if someone wants to talk, and I could ask if they want me to pray with them about their needs.

I’m feeling inspired to find happiness in giving.  I hope you feel the same.  

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2 thoughts on “Experiencing generosity has a way of opening our hearts to extend generosity.”

  1. I know the feeling of being tired and constantly surrounded with need, although I’m living in a town I love. It’s so cheering to have someone enter my world and show Jesus to people. Somehow it gives me fresh energy to keep on serving the people around me. Where I live, it’s not abject poverty so much, but there are plenty of other needs!

    Send Ruthann or one of her sisters here to visit me!! :)

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