Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Small Offerings




Hosting a bachelorette party for my friend Andi had two benefits- 1. I got to make a really nice human being happy, and 2. my house is completely clean for my son and wife arriving today and our upcoming beach vacation. I used to "entertain" more often when I was younger and more energetic. My house was cleaner in those days. And there was an unexpected third benefit: when the party ended,all the party-goers left the goodies they'd brought, and so I have a refrigerator full of hors d'oeuvres and three new bottles of wine for Matt and Karissa as well. I love killing two birds with one stone, especially when it is an odious bird, like cooking and cleaning. Funny how when the party ended, I had more than I had started with...clean house, full refrigerator, overflowing libations.

And preparing for the bachelorette party was surprisingly fun. I found a tiara with a veil and then leis for the bride-to-be to wear all in her purple and green wedding color scheme. Asherel came with me, and we both prowled the stores for inexpensive purple and green accents. I found purple and green candles, and at Goodwill, Asherel found a purple and green flower vase. Of course Party City had purple and green plates and napkins, and I found a purple wine glass at Goodwill for ten cents.

The whole experience reminded me of something I often forget. When you give, you often receive back more than you gave. Love and kindness works that way too. It seems those who are stingy with generosity, love, gentleness, and kindness get back even less, and the little they have dries up. Those who give all those things in abundance usually have more than enough and it flows out of them and envelops the world.

God knows this. He tells us reap and you will sow, cast your bread upon the waters and it will return, forgive and you will be forgiven, give generously and you will not be in want. It is counterintuitive, but it is nonetheless true. I have a confession to make...as I was buying for the party and cleaning for the party, and stressing over all the work of the party the day before my son arrived and three days before our family vacation, I was not feeling very good-hearted. I wondered why I was spending time and money I didn't have. I know. I am a wretch. But as the party unfolded, and those wonderful neighbors I don't see enough arrived, and as we laughed and ate the luscious goodies they had brought, and as the purple and green candles lit my little world, I realized how overjoyed I was that I had made that small offering to a beautiful friend.

Proverbs 22:9
The generous will themselves be blessed,
for they share their food with the poor.

Proverbs 11: 25-28
A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. People curse the one who hoards grain,
but they pray God's blessing on the one who is willing to sell. Whoever seeks good finds favor,
but evil comes to one who searches for it. Those who trust in their riches will fall,
but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.







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