One evening awhile ago, PB and I went out to dinner with another couple. They are good friends and we enjoy their company. There is just one problem with them: they always insist on picking up the tab. This brings out the competitive nature in PB, who does not like to be out-done. In the midst of the evening’s conversation, a coming theater performance was mentioned. We all agreed that it sounded like an interesting event and that it might be fun to go. PB nudged me; I patted PB’s knee. We were thinking the same thing: here was our chance to finally do something for this generous couple.
The next morning, I stopped in at the theater and bought four tickets to the show. We made the call and invited our friends to join us. Hooray! We were thrilled to be givers at last!
As we were waiting for the curtain to rise on the night of the show, I complimented my friend on her pretty blouse. I sincerely appreciated how nice she looked and instead of just thinking it, I told her. It was just a passing comment.
Later that week, a package was delivered to my door. I didn’t remember ordering anything, so I was curious about the elegantly wrapped box. I pulled back the tissue and inside was a nicely folded blouse, just like the one my friend had worn; just my size. I was stunned! What a surprise! How very thoughtful! A note was tucked in the box thanking us for the night out together.
I immediately called and left a message on her phone, attempting to express my gratefulness and joy over the unexpected gift! The next day, my friend emailed me, thanking me for being so excited about the blouse. A week later, I sent her a hand written thank you note, letting her know that every time I open my closet and see that blouse, I am blessed all over again.
I can’t stop this thing! I can’t seem to out-give my friend! But I’m sure going to keep trying! The more she gives, the more I want to give. It’s a virtuous cycle.
“For God so loved the world, He gave…” (John 3:16) God is the one who started this whole giving thing and although I will never be able to out-give Him, His generosity stirs something up in me. God has picked up the entire tab for my ticket to eternal life. How do I respond to that?
For the month leading up to Thanksgiving, let’s just see how grateful we can be. Please chime in with your thankful thoughts. Jump into the virtuous cycle and create a whirlwind of gratitude with me.
Can’t believe I am the first to comment with a thankful thought! I am thankful for my 3 daughters who still want to come home to visit Mom and Dad and “the farm”, even though they are married and busy living their lives…….and for their husbands who support their efforts to come home.
Your “Virtuous Cycle” reminds me of my mother-in-law, Elsie. Whenever she feels down about something, she will find something to do for someone else. So many times we have given her a useful gift — note paper, baking supplies, a magazine subscription…..only to learn how she used the gift to do something for someone else — cookies for a grandchild, a pie for a neighbor, a thinking-of-you note to someone who is lonely, a shared magazine with someone in a care center. She will use the ingredients we give her to bake a dessert or make a main dish for us because she thinks we are too busy to make a meal. Or she “borrows” an ingredient for a recipe, paying twice the value of that ingredient. It is hard to “pay her back”. In fact, sometimes the only way I can do so without her doing something for me in return is to secretly slip a $10 bill into her coat pocket or stick some extra dollars into her purse. I don’t know if she knows I did this or if she views the found money as a surprise blessing, but I am sure she uses it to help someone else.
We just had kids home this weekend and I feel the same way. So glad they get along with each other and like hanging out together. It doesn’t happen often, so I try to soak it up when it does.
What an example of a true giver, right next door. God Bless Elsie!