A storm can change a landscape in very short order. Trees are uprooted, some twisted in half, or otherwise mangled. Shingles on roofs can change from their neatly laid appearance to finding another place to reside. Fences get flattened; some by trees falling on them; others from utilities trucks driving through to repair power lines. So was the case when a major storm went through our area awhile back.
Sam and his helper, Charlie (to protect "the guilty" that's who we will call them), set about the task of repairing a fence that had been damaged, both by fallen trees, and by a utility truck. The fence was a "a piece of cake," though, thought Sam. It was just a normal chain link that had to have a couple new posts and be restretched. There was a slight problem. The weeds and vines had become part of the fence before the storm so they had to be removed from the fence before it could even be found! Needless to say there soon was a big pile of trash - which the men dutifully carried to the street to be later picked up by the trash haulers. Job completed. Well, partly. The back section was completed.
Now for the side fence. A tree had fallen across it. The house to which that fallen tree belonged was vacant. Thus, the yard was somewhat uncared for. But fortunately for Sam, the tree had been cut up and removed, which just left the fence to be repaired. No big problem. It was only a section. Not really a huge amount of weeds and vines, either. So Sam, pitched the pile across the fence into the weed-grown vacant property. And he and Charlie went about finishing their job.
That evening, Sam's wife began sharing an experience she had that day. "You remember the story, don't you?" she asked. "You know, the one about the East German family who dumped their garbage over the East Wall. Then a family on the West bagged up some milk and bread and carefully lowered it on a rope over the wall - with a note saying, 'you give what you have.'"
Sam nodded thoughtfully, as his wife continued her story. As he listened, because of what she was saying, his mind also began reviewing his actions earlier that day. He had thrown his pile of weeds and vines into the yard with the vacant house, instead of carrying it to the front for the trash pickup. At the time he was thinking only that that yard would need cleaning anyway. So what's another little pile of weeds. And it also saved him some steps. But now he was seeing it all in a different light. He thought how he had purposed to be a Christian example to Charlie, his helper. But he now realized he had failed. He had "given what he had." But what he gave was - selfishness - dumping his trash over the fence.
He determined that after apologizing to Charlie, he would go and clean up the weed pile. He purposed as well that in the future he would "give what he had," - and he would try to make sure, what he gave came from a heart that "loved his neighbor as himself."
Do you have a story of "giving what you have" - of blaming others ... procrastination, etc. - then taking responsibility to do what 's right? When our storms of life come let's "give what we have!" And may it always flow from our heart that is filled with God's love. ęcopyright 2008 Arleita Harmon, http://www.menofagape.com
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Arleita: Your thoughts are so inspiring. You have a way of igniting dormant stories within me. Important things I'd forgotten about. Did you get my PM's? Thank you for all your encouragement. I do long for my heart's desires. The Lord Bless you.