Several years ago while driving in the car with Reece, we pulled up to a stoplight next to a humble and broken down house. The house looked as if it had been deserted, and if it had not been, it was undeniably not well attended to. When I looked closer I noticed the small dog pacing the fence in the back yard. Apparently Reece noticed it too.
What she said at that moment was so profound that I made sure I copied it to that part of my memory called “Things Reece Says That I Cannot Forget”.
She matter of factly stated, “You know,… it wouldn’t matter if I was poor… as long as I had my dog.”
The innocence and simplicity of the statement made me smile. The wisdom and complexity of the statement made me ponder it for the next little while.
Because she is basically obsessed with animals, I did not doubt she truly meant her statement. She has always surrounded herself with pets and listening to her future plans, this will only dramatically increase. Her sweet little ways have always intrigued me. Her thought processes have always reminded me that she is beyond her years.
I was reminded of the small envelope I found in her end table drawer years prior. In her four year old writing and spelling, the envelope said “For thu Por Pepl”. Inside the envelope were a few dimes, pennies, and a one dollar bill. At an early age she was well aware that there were others who needed her hard earned preschooler allowance more than she needed it. So she took it upon herself to create a plan for her first offering.
I was also reminded of my precious niece who obviously has the same heart as my daughter. While walking in a parking lot with her parents several years ago, she saw someone who looked as though he could use a smile and a meal. My niece walked up to the man and gave him what money she had.
When Jesus taught that we should become like the little children, He sure meant it. A child like faith, an untainted compassion for others, and a content and heart felt attitude of giving.
Those who call themselves Christians yet fail to have compassion on those their Savior created,…well, the two just do not coincide. Proverbs 14:31 says “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”
Many times in scripture God reminds us of the ways in which we can put our faith in action. Giving to the poor, attending to the needs of the prisoner or the widow and orphan,…the list could go on.
“If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.”- Proverbs 21:13
If we expect God to hear us in our time of need when we pray, then we must also hear and respond to the needs of others. This may not always be a need that can be met financially. What about time invested, a helping hand, or a shoulder to cry on? What about mercy?
Another aspect of giving of ourselves, whether it be financially or not, is ensuring that what we do have does not control us. In Matthew 19:21, Jesus speaks with a man who prides himself on keeping the commandments. But…Jesus brings to light the state of his heart. (He is good at that). “Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.”
Do we roll our eyes when a friend calls us needing a moment of our precious time? Do we hold on to the grudge to which we think we are entitled? Do we find our hands shaking as we reluctantly hand over that five dollar bill to the man with the sign?
If so, take heed. We may be building our earthly bank account and forfeiting the treasure in heaven in which we should be investing. The mindset of a girl with her dog. The envelope for “thu Por Pepl”. What treasure are you seeking?