Thursday, June 18, 2009
"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 21:4
Every year, on the Fourth of July, my mother's house becomes a spectacle of color and confusion. Her little town has a bicycle parade, with nearly 500 participants annually and all these people, and the spectators end up on my mother's front lawn where she gives them punch, cookies and other treats. She has been doing this for years, and she and my Dad did it for years before he died. They never had much money but they donate all of the supplies and the labor. Many times they have been approached by companies who have offered to sponsor the event, but she always refuses. Giving to others without expectation of return is how she lives her life and quietly demonstrates her faith. She gives her all for others, not worrying about how she will get by. Somehow God always provides for her. Somehow neighbors are moved and find ways to donate and help, all quietly, all from the heart.
I have been blessed with an upbringing that taught me how to give and how to live for others. I worry sometimes that my mother might give herself away too much. And somehow God provides and she seems to be happy and satisfied. At 86, that all you can ask for. And so, remembering my mother and all the widows I have known who give their all, I want to live this day in honor of them. I want to give to others where ever I find myself. I want to live, following in their footsteps, knowing the blessing of giving my all.