Tuesday, April 20, 2010

SPREADING THE WEALTH AROUND


While doing some clean up in the kitchen late yesterday afternoon, I thought I heard some voices coming from the back garden. As I looked up to glance out through the window I saw some movement. It was my brother from across the street walking through with some of our friends. I stopped what I was doing to go out and join them. It's not a rare occurrence to have visitors wandering though the garden...and I so enjoy it every time it happens.

These friends yesterday have been through a rough couple years. They lost their home during this economic downturn as many others have. As the wife of the couple walked through she kept seeing Japanese Maples that she wanted. They are at present renting a small home from a friend who has set the rental price at a reasonable level that they can afford with the agreement that while they are there they will put some work into fixing it up. She loves gardening, so the fix-up-focus this spring has moved outside. She wanted to take a maple with her.

Towards the end of the tour I reached into some of the maples and grabbed one and handed it to her and told her she could have it. A giddy smile filled her face and was then followed by some tears. She was elated and full of gratitude. Her husband seemed more shocked. We men often seem a little slower when it comes to these things. Maybe it's because when it comes to money, we have been more deeply malformed by the stewardship/responsibility script that has been handed down to us that more resembles greed?

That encounter was the third special encounter of the day. My morning, after beginning as they always do on Monday, at the salon cleaning, had already began on a high note. I had been invited to join a friend for coffee. We hadn't seen each other for several months. She had asked me to meet with her to discuss living with teenagers (their family is just entering this land) in a grace-filled way instead of the tension packed approach defined by power and authority in hopes of getting teenagers to submit to a parent's attempts to control their behavior. It took us awhile to get to that conversation since the first hour was used up by just catching up with one another. Part of that had to do with this family also having lost their home this past year. There's a lot of pain out there if you haven't yet noticed. It seemed the conversation about living with our kids was helpful and encouraging. It was good for me also to get to spend some time with her.

Then shortly afternoon a client/friend of mine posted on Facebook that she was helping with an auction to raise money in order to assist people suffering with cancer. She was wondering if anyone knew where she might go to get a plant or tree or shrub to offer in the upcoming auction. I responded to her and told her to stop by because I had a Japanese Maple I would give her. She was just in the salon a couple weeks ago and had mentioned that she would love a tour of the garden sometime. It looks like that will happen very soon.

I have this dream that includes people and my garden and even part of my work as a hairstylist. A dream that was stirred and awakened inside me many many years ago. A dream I then lost during the years of getting caught up in the soul-diminishing-frustrating-adventure of expanding my standard of living as my income level began to go up. I often can find myself thinking that dream has not yet become a reality and then I am reminded by days like today to not despise small/humble beginnings.

Spreading around the real wealth we have been given, love and grace, is what we have been invited into, along with being generous with all we have. And don't ever think something that might look small is less significant. It more than likely will feel much bigger to the one on the receiving end.

6 comments:

Margaret Sch. said...

Wasn't the story of the widow's mite a message for all time: that a little can mean everything if given from the heart and in love? Then there's David and Goliath. The whole idea of what's large or small, what's important or trivial, is so different in God's eyes than in our small minds, I believe. Your gifts of Japanese maples have multiple layers of significance and grace that goes way beyond any monetary value.

Kent said...

All true Margaret

Bones said...

Thanks, Kent! I love hearing the stories of Father leading you in His grace through the day, through your encounters and conversations, and His touching lives through you in various ways.

Kent said...

Bones, what this feels like to me is the reality of his yoke being easy and his burden being light. When we relax from all the striving to "serve God" and just step into the flow of what he is doing....we will find out that things are happening all around us. All the striving kept us from seeing and instead busy doing other stuff that just ends up being destructive distractions to everyone including ourselves.

Bones said...

Even though I was being weaned off of the striving over the past several years, having all opportunity to strive ripped away these last few months has taken me increasingly into the kind of freedom from it that you describe. I now have no role, no position, no title... fortunately, we do still have an income... and we are quietly arranging our life to take six months of sabbatical, at the behest of our organization. And so, living in a new country (the U.S.) and new town and discovering the relationships Papa is choosing to give us along the way has been freeing. Our extended family in the area do have certain expectations, but those mostly are of the form that we choose to meet from the heart, rather than with resentment. While missing a good deal of our former life, and the relationships we had face-to-face that must now be maintained via email and Skype, I'm loving where He has us now, and look forward to how He will be shaping me through this.

Kent said...

sounds wonderful and exciting