The mail came just as we were walking out the door, in it a surprise package for the girls. Tearing into the paper, they found crayons and coloring books and one precious item that Emma immediately grabbed. “I snuggle with this in the car,” she announced.
The 45 minute drive to a friend’s house was quiet as she admired her treasure. To a child whose life has afforded very little to call her own, anything given directly to her holds deep value.
We walked into the house where she was meeting our new-to-her friends and within minutes, I saw her place the treasure in her new friend’s hand and say, “This for you.” Less than an hour of ownership and she was already generously giving this treasure away to a stranger.
I’m embarrassed to admit that part of me wanted to jump to her rescue and assure her that she did not have to give anything away, but who wants to adjust that level of generosity? I say that I want a culture of generosity in our home, but I can learn so much from these girls.
Not two hours later, the little girls reappeared from their games and loom band bracelet creations, Emma carrying a tiny gold necklace and glowing like she was carrying the moon. One of her new friends had returned her generosity 10-fold.
And I had to wonder, what security do these little girls know that allows such radical (in their economy) giving? They give without second guessing, without wondering how it will be received or whether they might regret it tomorrow. Could it be that they have watched the goodness and regular provision of their parents and realized that no matter how much they give away, there is a steady stream of both calculated and extravagant goodness that flows their way?
No, she’ll probably never get a replica of that little popsicle stick flower that she loved and her friend will probably never get another bumble bee necklace exactly like the one she gave, but they have a child-like trust that they are loved and that whatever happens, the people who love them are working for their good. Even for the former orphans living in my home, empty is becoming less about fear and more about getting to watch Mommy fill the bowl again…and again.
And their mama who wanted to stop all this giving and just let them keep what was theirs? That’s because lack is scary to me these days. I wonder how I’ll provide for them financially and still find time for their hearts. I second guess a family trip and a birthday gift, wondering if what was given should have been saved instead. Of course there’s wisdom in saving, but this little note isn’t for the extravagant spenders. It’s for the savers, like me, who hold back what could easily be given and make that into a habit of holding onto everything.
Would my level of generosity be dramatically changed if I truly believed that God would provide everything I need – especially if I give it away? What would I freely give away if I truly believed that He would not allow me to suffer any level of lack that was outside of His loving plan for my good and my heart’s health?
Seeing Emma hand over her little trinket stirred up so much love in me and all I wanted to do in that moment was take her to Target and buy her all.the.things. I’m so grateful God allowed me to watch and feel the delight of a parent when their child truly rests in provision, so much so that giving becomes a complete joy and not a threat of lack.
Because when you’re truly trusting, not only do you feel secure in what you have, but also in what you give away.
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
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**Yes, I know that so many are generous without any assurance of future provision. I want to be like them, too, but for today, my take-away is that I DO have a Father who promises to provide – not always in my timing or my plan, but always just the same.