Our pastor spoke on giving and generosity this week. He read a quote from Richard Fosters book Celebration of Disciplines. I remember reading much of this book in college and remember quite a bit, nevertheless his sermon prompted me to go back and read the chapter on simplicity. How different the lessons sit on me than they did when I was in my twenties. Deep, challenging and then I read the following which truly struck the matter of my heart.
“To have our goods available to others marks the third inner attitude of simplicity. If our goods are not available to the community when it is clearly right and good, then they are stolen goods. The reason we find such an idea so difficult is our fear of the future. We cling to our possessions rather than sharing them because we are anxious about tomorrow. But if we truly believe that God is who Jesus says he is, then we do not need to be afraid. When we come to see the almighty Creator and our loving Father, we can share because we know that he will care for us. If someone is in need, we are free to help them. “
The goods in this instance refers to baby items that I have been “stealing” away in my basement. Oh, the decision to have a third has not been easy on my heart. Our two daughters came at surprising times for us, but no matter what our feelings were at those moments we first found out, I have come to understand that those “surprise” pregnancies were blessings. This planning to have another baby at the “right” time or at all, is no more easy. Who ever truly knows what they are getting into with a child? Absolutely my fear (or hope) about tomorrow causes me to cling to earthly goods. No matter how I pray on this topic it reveals my anxiety of change.
Some friends of ours are wonderful parents, they also open their home to children in need. Just this week they were called to take in a two day old baby. My heart breaks for a child entering in this world with literally, nothing. I am so thankful for this sermon this week, for this chapter in Foster’s book this week, for items to share in my basement this week, and for a newborn baby with an unexpected, yet amazing family to love him this week. God has already began to provide for this little one that he cares for. They have loving taken this baby into their home not knowing the duration of its stay or its future. One day at a time, one need at a time, what a testimony to living fully, simply, and being a steward of God’s creation. We do not need to be afraid, we can discerningly give to those in need and know that when the time arises the same God will lovingly provide for us.
Live simply friends.