I can't think of a better way to head into a new season than from hearing such timely wisdom from a passionate young woman. Sarah thank you for taking the time. Beautiful words!
"Look at the Birds"
by Sarah Brown
As a kid, I hardly could have suspected how tight things were financially for my family. My four energetic brothers were bottomless pits at the dinner table and I have to admit I stayed pretty neck-and-neck with how much they could put away. Thanks to thrift stores and hand-me-downs we had enough clothes to keep the laundry full of sweaty socks and muddy jeans. The mud was mostly from playing in a beautiful big yard behind a house that, if not for a God-loving older couple that were radically generous, my parents would have had no hope of moving into.
But my parents were always giving. My mom gave me and my brothers amazing home-made presents on birthdays. My Dad tithed on how much money they spent instead of how much money he earned, because they sometimes had no idea where the much-needed money came from. I suspect Mom followed Jesus’ example and multiplied loaves of bread and jars of peanut butter, though I didn’t ever find 12 baskets left over.
I’m twenty-one now, and my family is in a different place, financially. But my mom and dad are in the same place of generosity. Really, no matter how much money you make, giving generously is always expensive. It always costs us. But, somehow, the price looks smaller as our love for people and trust in God gets larger.
I’m saving for college next year, and certainly don’t feel like I have a lot to give away at this stage in my life. Maybe you don’t either. I’m challenged to give anyways. God offers us both the wisdom to spend wisely and the confidence to give extravagantly! Let’s not worry about not having enough for ourselves or our loved ones or the bills. We do have a responsibility to those things! However, they aren’t an excuse to not be generous. We are far too valuable to God to ever need to worry.
Matthew 6:25-26 “...I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?”
So throw away your worrying and get creative! It’s sometimes surprising how doable (and fun!) it is to be more generous. Some ideas that come to mind for me are:
- thoughtful (not necessarily expensive!) gifts
- encouraging cards/emails/FB messages
- a timely phone call or conversation
- give someone a ride--you’re going that direction anyways!
- offer to take someone’s kids for an afternoon or evening for free
- a surprise coffee or chocolate
- a four-second hug
- a memorable photograph
So, passionate woman (or guest reader of the male gender!), how about you? If you’re old enough to read, you’re certainly old enough to have picked up a thing or two about giving. What comes to mind for you? What’s a special gesture of generosity you’ve discovered?
Next time you see a bird fly by, look at it and remember that you have full permission from God to worry as little as it does.