What a joy it has been to listen to, and read reflections by, members of our beloved community regarding their stories of giving. These stories have allowed me to recall memories that have influenced me to give and share with others. The one that is most prominent today comes from when I was in junior high.
Once upon a time, I came home from school to find the kitchen floor full of grocery shopping bags filled with food and my mother busily sorting items to be in each of the 13 bags. When I asked: ‘what’s all this’ my mother said that she heard of a shelter in Seattle where mothers with children where living, but that they had no food.
A little back-story — my brother, mother and I had recently moved out of my step-father’s home (as my mother was getting a divorce) and she was working for minimum wage at a health food store. We were barely making it week-to-week, but we were healthy and happy. Now, back to this memory.
I must have had a puzzled look on my face, knowing as I did, that we had very little income probably thinking my mother was nuts. She turned and said: “Jeff, we’ll be fine. We can eat cereal until my next pay-check (which we did) knowing with assurance that others will not be going hungry.” I’ve never forgotten this! This story of giving – so that others will not be hungry – is a defining story of my life and speaks to my understanding of stewardship. What is yours?
As we move into the Season of Advent — I ask invite you to recall those core stories of giving that have influenced you and made you who you are today. When we share with others, whether from our abundance or from our scarcity, we are allowing the Light of God to ‘get into us’ and shine from us. This is Advent: how the light gets in.
Blessings in the name of the Christ,