Several months ago, on the day I was to settle on the short sale of my house, I took a new road on my way to work. As I came around a bend, in front of a worn out house, a young girl in a maids uniform stood in a driveway holding up a pair of jumper cables. Behind her was a beat up car with its hood up.
When I drove by, she stared at me and held the cables up even higher. I didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to determine her need.
Of course the story of the Good Samaritan came to mind. Not wanting to stop, I gritted my teeth hoping someone else would. Glancing in my rear view mirror, I saw the girl now standing in the middle of the road shoving the jumper cables towards the cars now driving into the other lane to avoid hitting her.
Reluctantly, I turned around and drove back. No sooner had I pulled off the road and popped my hood, the girl had the cables hooked up.
“You know what you’re doing?”
“Yes, yes,” she said as a young man walked up. With a thick accent he said, over and over, “Thank you ma’am, thank you.”
As I stood there waiting for her battery to charge, I couldn’t stop thinking of how much more I had than them. My car was better, and even though I was losing my home, I was moving into a house better than theirs.
Then in my spirit I heard God whisper that dreaded word – “share.” For in my wallet was the $450 dollars I had made the weekend before selling off the remains of my household goods. The exact amount I needed to replace my broken laptop.
I gritted my teeth again, opened the car door and reached for my wallet. Sticking up was a crisp $50 bill. Again I heard, “share.” Exasperated, I pulled out the bill and shoved it in the guys hand. “Here, get yourself a new battery.” Then stupidly I added, “And don’t forget Jesus loves you.” I felt like an idiot.
Back on the road I scolded God, reminding him of how much I needed that money.
That evening, tearfully I sat in my realtors office and signed away at a huge loss, my beautiful home . At the end, my realtor slid an envelope across the table and said, “A little birdie, (my daughter no doubt) told me you need a new laptop. I hope this helps.”
Inside the envelope – $200 in gift cards.
Now, in no way do I believe I forced Gods hand in delivering me the $200. There was nothing magical in this interaction. If I hadn’t given the couple the $50 I still would have received the $200. But God’s hand was all over this and here’s why:
- I’m too selfishly focused on my own wants and needs. I need to learn to give more, even in my own perceived poverty.
- I need to remember, in the eyes of 90% of the world, my perceived poverty is wealth.
- I need to learn to never spend everything I have. To always leave a margin to give.
- Even when I think I don’t have enough to share, if God tells me to, I need to give anyway.
- God is my provider. In all my best efforts, I’m not self-sufficient. I need Him.
- But most of all, I need what I get from giving to others. It makes me more at peace with myself and my God.