Hello and welcome to the rest of your life. <pause for dramatic effect>. Thinking that’s what doctors should tell newborns during delivery. No. I’m not crazy, I just happen to have random thoughts and I happen to hear music in my head and my dreams have soundtracks… but that’s a story for another day!
Today’s post is about yesterday. Don’t be shocked, it’s a diary so that’s kinda the point <snaps fingers>. I had just left the house and was walking towards the bus stop when a homeless man saw me and asked me to give him Kshs 20. I tried to remember how much I had and realized I had Kshs 120, but if I gave him the Kshs 20, then I wouldn’t be able to have lunch or to have enough fare to stay for the evening service. So I told him that I didn’t have Kshs 20 to spare. He walked away disappointed and the song “What if God was one of us” started playing in my head. By the time I got to the stage, he was so far gone. When I got into the matatu, I took out the Kshs 20 and waited for a second chance. The matatu stopped to pick somebody near him and I gave him the money and he was so happy.
Later in the day, at around 6pm, we had just finished bible study for our ex-candidates program and we were having our usual juice and biscuits afterward. We were a lot fewer than our usual number so there were a lot of leftovers. So we started picking biscuits to carry home. Some to eat while watching a movie later, some were for others, I was picking for my nephew. I know, I’m such an awesome auntie. Then it hit me, why don’t we go around and give the juice and biscuits to the homeless? The other guys were like “Sure, yeah, we should” because how else do you respond to that. When I insisted that I was serious, they told me to go ahead. I left with my share of the biscuits and went looking around for the homeless people in their usual spots and they surprisingly weren’t there. I walked around for 20 minutes looking for them and still couldn’t find them. I was shocked! I was perturbed! I was flabbergasted! I wondered, where had they all gone to? Were they having a secret club meeting, like chama or something? What were the odds that they had all disappeared?
It started to drizzle so I had to give up my mission and start heading home, wouldn’t want to be caught up at the ‘pool party’ at my stage. I kept thinking of the significance of what had just happened. I realized that most of us give for the wrong reasons as listed below.
- We give conditionally. We don’t give beggars anymore because we think they are faking or that they will use the money on drugs.
- We give only what is excess. We don’t give if it will cost us anything, we only give what we won’t miss or what won’t affect us.
- We give only when it is convenient. We don’t give every time we meet someone in need, yet, we will occasionally organise a charity event to give large donations and make a big deal about it.
- We give to make ourselves feel better. We give to feel as though we are good, saying “Yes, I just helped that person so I am a good person.”
- We give to honour oursleves instead of honouring God. We accept the glory for giving instead of directing it to God, who is our ultimate source for everything.
We need to give to glorify God, not to make ourselves feel better. We need to share what we have with one another, not just what we don’t need. We need to give with a blessing, just as God gives to us. These are just some of the realizations I got. I challenge you to think about your motives for giving. Remember the parable of the widow who gave the few shillings and it was all she had, yet she had given more than anyone else in the congregation because she gave from the heart.
Don’t give conditionally, thinking that the beggar will use it for something negative. God never told us to judge who to give and who not to give for whatever reason. He simply told us to give. When we give with a blessing, then we acknowledge that He is the one giving to them, not us. After that, it’s between them and God. If they use it on drugs, so be it. If they use it on food, so be it. Give and Let God do the rest. What if God was one of us? Would you have the same reservations?
As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said,“this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” ~Luke 21:1-4