This week, Blake shares his story of giving. Blake is a current member of The Hearth and serves on Council. He is an invaluable part of The Hearth community and a dear friend, who gives in innumerable ways with a warm smile and generous heart. ~Kaylee
My mom used to tell the story of how I came home from kindergarten one day and told her I dumped my pretty girlfriend for a new one who always had a penny in her pocket. I don’t recall that, but I do remember singing “Love is like a lucky penny” and not really buying the song’s message of “Hold it tight and you won’t have any. But give it away, and you’ll have plenty.” (My sad childhood collection of Wheat pennies is probably still in my closet somewhere.)
In the past I’ve given out of guilt or obligation, but I now view giving as a joyful act. This is not to say I don’t have to work at it, as I do with other aspects of my spiritual practice. It’s not always easy to give cheerfully and without expectation of acknowledgment or return. This practice requires re-anchoring in scripture and prayer, rejecting self-congratulatory cultural messages about what I and others have “earned”, recognizing that I was born on third base headed toward home, and counting all the ways I have been enriched through giving.
I think God directs us to give because he knows it is good for us, and not only because it “stores up treasures in heaven.” Giving reorients our hearts around what really matters, replenishes us, multiplies our blessings, strengthens our connections and communities, brings us closer to God, and gets us a little closer to creating heaven here on earth. Picture the people you know who give freely, and then the people who are more guarded or skeptical in their giving—which group seems happier and more fulfilled? I believe Jesus when he said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I think that “lucky penny” Sunday school song had it right.
Cheers and Peace,