The Gift of Giving
|by Maja Petric @ Unsplash.com|
Lately, I have been going through a test. One that I feel I was purposely geared up for all my life. A test of self-denial for the good of the people I love.
When I decided with my mom to dismiss our plan of joining the Marian Pilgrimage this year, I felt like my heart got broken in two. It is my dream for my mom and myself to go for a pilgrimage once in our lifetime.
However, due to a more urgent and important reason, I had to set that dream aside for now, indefinitely. I know, Europe could just be like a day trip for some. But I will continuously hold onto our wish. Yes, someday it is! Soon!
All this time, I thought that I have been giving enough. I was wrong. I am ashamed to have realized that just when I thought I needed to help someone, it turned out that I was the one who needed help.
Tonight, I watched a story of a disabled young man named Kevin. He sits outside the St. Joseph the Patriarch Parish in Cebu under the scorching heat of the sun, begging for alms all day, asking for charity from passers-by. It is common in the Philippines to see kids on the streets knocking at the car windows, pleading for alms. But what differentiates Kevin from all the rest is his selflessness. He would offer some of the money he collects to the church. When asked why, he smiled and replied with cheerfulness. I was awe-inspired by his answer. (Paraphrased and translated in English)
"I cannot forget giving back to God because he is the source of all my blessings so I will share my blessings to Him."
Imagine with what little he makes each day, he still has something to give back. Indeed, we are never too poor not to be able to help. But I can see God's provision in his life from the story I heard. He gets by everyday. I think that he is even happier than most people who are rich and/or able-bodied. At 18, Kevin is on his 4th grade in school.
Kevin's story reminded me of what true giving is like. Sometimes, I feel burdened by the cross that I need to share with the people I love. However, as I give more, I always end up gaining more in return. I then realized that I am the one who needs charity. I also need the grace of humility to acknowledge that as I am a giver to others, I am also a beneficiary of God's blessings on the other hand. And because God does things with a purpose, I too shall partake of His plan of blessing others.
With this realization, I pray I may have a heart of a cheerful giver, that I may give not out of an obligation or a burden but that I may share out of love for the other person.
"The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
2 Corinthians 9:6-7
Kevin, I pray that God will bless you with all your needs. Thank you for the inspiration!