My wife, Julie, has taught me how to give. She has been given a Gift for giving which means her propensity to give may be greater than some other people’s from the origination of her nature. Like any gifted Ability, it has to be exercised and cultivated in order to develop it into a mature and useful mechanism of our purpose.
Her gift to give has been evident since we first met; a desire to help those in need without consideration of factors that often hold many people back from stepping out on that limb. My favorite example of how she views giving took place six or seven years ago on a Friday evening. I was commuting to and from work on a train and we had agreed before I left work that I would stop on the way home and pick up something to eat. I don’t remember what we had agreed on to eat, but it was nothing fancy because all I had was $20 in cash and we were tight on money at the end of a pay period.
It was cold out but I stayed warm on the train platform with my Carhartt jacket which had been a gift to me from my cousin. So while I was waiting, a man approached me in a white t-shirt and his hands in his pockets trying to preserve some body heat and asked me if I had any money to help him and his family. He went on to share that he, his wife and their daughter were traveling and had a car problem which required a part which would cost $17 and some change. I had been married to Julie long enough to recognize the opportunity and gave the man the $20 bill I had in my pocket.
When I got home, I told Julie that we would just have to muster something to eat up from what we had at the house (which was plenty) as I had given the $20 to the man at the train station. Some wives would be upset, but not Julie . . . she was so proud of me for my new exercise in giving. In fact, the only question she had for me after I told the story was “did you give him your jacket?”
That blew me away . . . she picked up on that need from 30 miles away through the telling of the story and her first instinct was to take care of his apparent need even beyond what his request was. She wasn’t upset with me or anything like that for not giving him the jacket, just naturally and sincerely interested in his warmth.
Now, we walk with Wisdom as related to what, when and how to give. We listen with ears to hear from the right opportunities to give as a bridge between need and provision where there is a call to do so. We have given and we have been given to where the need and provision flows each way. This gifting through my wife has led us into an incredible journey of trust and faith where things like money and jackets are not the ends but simply the means to walk out life in more meaningful ways with others.