“As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.”Matthew 10: 7-8
“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”Dr. Maya Angelou
One of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten is the time a friend looked me warmly in the eye and told me how something I’d said to her long before had made a big difference in her life. I didn’t remember saying it. I really didn’t. But she remembered – and what I’d said opened a new insight. It turned around an important decision in her world. I’ve surely also been on the receiving end of friends’ loving responses to me. So many times an honest sharing, some caring feedback, or an authentic reflection has shown me the good in myself when my emotions were too clouded over to see it. Those times have made all the difference in my life. They’ve landed in my heart because they came from the heart of the giver.
There is no price tag on this kind of giving. Jesus sent his disciples out to share the good news that God’s Presence is within and among human beings. He made it clear that they were to give freely of that news and that power – lifting up those who had no hope or sense of agency. He reminded the disciples—and that includes us—that generosity is the coin of God’s realm – the only coin that can buy that which is limitless. Dr. Maya Angelou speaks the truth. Giving liberates our soul from toxic self-centeredness and isolation. We may think that giving is for the other person, and of course in a way it is. However, the deeper truth is that giving opens us to the inclusion of ourselves into the world. When we give from our heart we are proclaiming joyfully, “I belong.” Spirituality is a circle. Every time we enter into life, we expand it, bounteously making room for everyone. That’s what Jesus was telling us. I am grateful.
In the Love and Light of the Christ,