Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Give Small

Monday’s blog sparked quite a discussion in the Cuttill-Price household. My oldest son and I engaged in a conversation about how difficult it would be to volunteer for a mission/humanitarian trip of some type, but agreed that it would certainly be a life-changing experience for our family. Chad then went on to convey an experience he had at work last week that left a lasting impression on his heart and mind.

Chad’s job is “courtesy patrol” and that usually means taking care of the carts in the parking lot, helping folks to their cars and at times working as a cashier. It was in the later role he found himself last week, when an obviously needy family of four pushed their cart laden with home repair necessities through Chad’s lane. As he rang up the items, it seemed to him that this purchase would be a strain on their already stretched budget. Upon informing the gentleman of the total, a stranger from the queue stepped forward and told the family, “I don’t know why, but I feel God has asked me to pay for your purchase today.” Observably taken aback, the family was gracious and grateful. Chad was stunned beyond words, as the purchase was well over $300.00. In addition, the stranger handed the man $50.00 with instructions to take the family out to dinner.

Pausing long enough to reflect following the retelling of this story, Chad articulated, “Mom, I just want to make enough money so that I can help people like that.” Which got me to think—perhaps this is why more folks don’t give. Seems we have this illusion that in order to make a difference, we have to do something on a grand scale--that we have to give excessively in order for it to “count”. Discouraged at the inability to “GIVE BIG”, we often do nothing. What would happen if we began to give where we are, what we can, with the goal of becoming more aware of those around us?

Our conversation ended with the supposition that we could all begin serving others in small ways. Chad could save a few dollars out of every check and when he had $20.00 or $30.00, go to Walmart—eye a person of need, and pay for part of their groceries. We decided that for some people, $20.00 could make a huge difference in a weekly budget. So, the message is to give—give small, give anything, but give. Live outside your own existence. Look for ways to share. Not because of anything you might “get” in return, but because your life has been blessed and you can’t wait to bless another.


Evan and Julia said...

Sacrifice, that's the difference. Don't just give, give till it hurts, till you can feel the hunger that others feel, and when you feel it give to others what it would take to leviate that hunger in you.

{Live s}imply so that others may simply live.

I am strugling with this now. I do not sacrifice, but I will start.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I am not so sure it has to be hard or hurt in order to count.

When I moved to Canada, I gave away a lot of my possession. Things that people actually offered me money for but I wouldn't take it. I didn't really need the money that bad and it was stuff I wasn't using.

We are cleaning again. Rob wanted to donate his late wife's clothing, so I found a mission in the city that takes clothing donations. I did the same with Will's things last summer. Does that count as sacrifice?

Alicia said...

Wow. What a great story. Great blessings on your family, great blessings from your family.

TGLB said...

I don't think you have to give until it hurts. The answer to suffering is not more suffering; compassion is a joyful thing, I think.

Not long after my sweetie died, I was having a pretty crappy time of it. One Friday night I decided to self-medicate with snacks, and stopped by Safeway on the way home from work, and there was a homeless man begging nearby. I spent about $17 on junk food. As I left the parking lot, I pulled over to the homeless guy and gave him a $20. If I had $20 to spend on snacks, I had that much to help someone. I think he was blown away, and was so grateful. But I was grateful to him. Nothing I'd done to try to make myself feel better up to that point had been nearly as effective as that one small gesture.

Sari said...

Great post, thank you for sharing that story. And a great reminder for us all.

I like evan and julia's quote..."live simply so that others may simply live."

Lisa said...

What a great story! Thanks for challenging us to be more intentional about walking alongside and helping our fellow travelers on this journey.

Now I've got TWO things to work on this week: Getting rid of 100 things and focused giving. I think, as anniegirl1138 did, I might actually be able to combine the two!

Anonymous said...

The more you give, the more you get (in love and friendship),

Beautiful story,


Shelly said...

I needed that...thanks for the reminder to give...teaching my kids to be givers has to begin when they are young....great post!

Tanja said...

I sold a lot of stuff on Ebay this week. From one person I got a note that she had the winning bid on a jacket, but could not afford it this month. If she could pay for it in August?
I simply asked for her address and sent her the jacket. Made one person happy. Such a simple thing to do.

This afternoon I walked in a store with Maaike, and somehow she said to me: "I want to be like you, and give things away to people who need it". Glad that simple gesture made an impact on my daughter, and I know she'll remember this.

Now I don't want to pat myself on the back, but I do want to recognize Anja in this. Together we helped quite a few widows out financially, ones who really needed it. We never mentioned it to anyone, not even to each other. Until one day I told her about someone who really needed help, and we found out we both did the same thing. One reason why she is my best friend!


F5FM said...

I love it... Give something. Sometimes it is just the act (of giving) that matters.

Those who know me, know that I am on a Jonathan kick. He looked at a small army of men and decided it was time to do something... It doesn't say that God told him to go attack their enemy. BUT - it does say that he did ("perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf"). And they distroyed their enemy.

Sometimes we just need to do (give) something, anything... and maybe, just maybe the Lord will act on the givee's behalf.