“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore”
Harry Warren/Jack Brooks
I am obsessed with more these days. In fact, I can’t believe I’ve been living with less for so long. Before you start a rant about materialism, let me explain.
I’ve always wanted to be a thankful person and quite often failed miserably (in every sense and to great depths). However, in the last while, I’ve been seeing more and more to be thankful for. I do think that this new clarity in my vision is a blessing that has come from embracing suffering and the more painful experiences of the past. When things got tough, I dropped to my knees and I stayed there. Not to beg, but to say sorry for my own issues, to do the gut wrenching and necessary task of self-examination, and to learn to be still. In that less than pleasant time, I learned more and I longed for more, but chose to be content with what I had. That choice was pivotal for it allowed me the time to take hold of the long forgotten and now essential mores of active rest, thankfulness, and generosity.
It hasn’t always been easy. I could fill a small bathtub with the tears I’ve shed over losses and scarcity, both my own and others. I know I’m not alone in this. Everyone has pain and mine is neither greater nor smaller than anyone else’s. It’s just mine to bear. You may ask “What’s love got to do with it?” and some days I wonder, too. The mistake I made was in allowing a small lie to enter my life. That small lie messed with my thought processes in a big way, tempting me to wonder whether I would ever experience “more” again. Why was it a lie? Because I was already smack-dab in the middle of “more”.
The good news is that I think I’ve stumbled upon something so powerful, that will shake off the deception of dearth. It’s not new information, in fact, it’s very old. When I am thankful and operate in a spirit of generosity regardless of circumstance, “more” is not only there, but it is created and encouraged. Genesis, generosity, genuine, ingenuity. All of these words talk about increasing production. Why didn’t I think of this before? Generosity isn’t giving things away, it’s creating a culture of giving by giving with big-heartedness . This wondrous flurry of giving creates a relationship of giver and receiver!
One day, I came around a corner and was startled to see a homeless man with a grocery cart in the shadows of the trees to my left. As it was pitch dark and I was alone and not a bit alarmed, I didn’t even say hi. When I got in my car, I told the Lord that I didn’t want to not see those that He loved, homeless or otherwise, that I was sorry. I told Him that if He were to give me another opportunity that was clear, that I would gladly speak, greet and welcome or buy a meal for anyone that He told me He wanted me to.
Within the next couple of weeks, I zipped into the parking lot of a fast food sandwich shop, and noticed a homeless man with a grocery cart a few doors down. I told God that I would gladly pay for his meal if He wanted me to and asked Him to let me know one way or another if He wanted me to. My order was late and before I knew it, the homeless man had entered the shop. I knew that was my confirmation so I tapped him on the arm and asked him if I could buy his supper. He was overwhelmed and said he would only get half a sandwich and that he would share with me. He tried to pay something but I insisted that he get whatever he wanted and that it needed to be a full sandwich. I knew that the meal had to be symbolic of the principle of more – God is more and He blesses beyond our expectations and imagination. The man ordered and we visited back and forth. Just as I was at the till paying for our meals, he opened his change purse and gave me a few coins one after another, telling me about the significance of each. I tried to refuse at first, but I soon realized that if I was to give, I also needed to learn how to receive. By the time the coins were in my hand, I was overwhelmed by his act of generosity. He gave me much more than I had given to him.
Those coins are in my office, framed and a constant reminder of how there is always more. More to say, more kindness to give, more hope to generate – for when one operates in the spirit of generosity, life expands. I love that there is more. Sometimes, that means there’s more suffering, but if that’s the case, that also means that there is more grace to deal with that suffering. On the back end of that suffering, one receives deep gifts of empathy, forgiveness, and gratitude. These gifts are not tarnished by injustice. Especially when one hangs on to the principle of “more”!
So when I say, it’s all good, what I really mean, is that all things work together for good. They do. When I embrace the mores of more, I receive and give amore. Is the moon hitting your eye yet?
What would happen if we kicked scarcity to the curb and collectively chose generosity in all things? Would artists, educators and shelters still scrape for scraps of funding? Really, what would happen? I’m not sure that we can legislate generosity, but I can at least elect to tip my waitress more than 15%. I can generously choose to let more than one person in ahead of me in lineup at Costco, even during the Christmas season. With joy, I can say thank you to God for every day that I have to breathe. And I most certainly do.
(c) Sandra Foster, Ranenpur, October 28, 2013
Share more of your thoughts on generosity! Would love to hear more from you! Tell me “more” stories….