As my time at NeighborLink begins to wind down, I can't help but reflect on a particular shift in my mentality that I am trying to grasp, trying to choose more to live out.
I keep being reminded of the story of the elderly woman in the Bible who put two coins into the offering - everything she had to live on. In her poverty, Jesus said, she gave more than the wealthy who threw in large amounts. The more I read about her, the more I keep coming back to this idea of sacrificial giving.
In my time at NeighborLink, people always ask me what the organization does, and so I tell them. They talk about how great it is for the community. But as one friend put it, people like the idea of other people giving. As I have began to observe the habits of humanity, I have found something to be true about myself and others: We want to give within the means of our comfort.
We see the needs of others, but we can't always figure out how to help without it impacting our lives. But I'm beginning to wonder if that's even possible. If we are truly giving of ourselves, if we are truly loving our neighbor as ourselves, then there will be an element of sacrifice involved. Time, resources, energy, money, whatever it might be. I'm 100% guilty of this. I give what little I can to ease my conscience, then carry on and not disturb the rhythm of my life's routine.
I'm convinced, though, that there is a part of freedom that we miss when we give only out of the means of our comfort. The elderly woman could have just not given at all, or given only a coin. But she gave until it (probably) hurt. She gave it all. I can't figure out why though. Why did she give it all? What freedom in sacrificial giving did she find that a lot of us are missing? What would it look like if we all started giving until it hurt? What if we went above and beyond giving of our resources to those around us?
What if we gave all that we had, even in our poverty, and gave sacrificially?
I don't have answers, but I hope you'll join me in this struggle of learning to live in a way that stretches beyond what is comfortable in ways that feel both painfully sacrificial, yet relentlessly freeing.
Storyteller, NeighborLink FW