I just walked into the house from the mailbox. Wow. That’s an experience of major proportions, isn’t it?
Envelopes, both large and small, fill my arms with their offerings of calendars, note pads, shopping bags, flags, greeting cards, and address labels. Usually, I drop the mail on the counter, planning to look through each item now, or later.
After sorting, I decide I will tackle the piles later, to choose which is a keeper, and which a throw-a-way. Fetching the mail used to be fun, didn’t it? Now, we gather the mail just to defend our mailbox from overflowing, the envelopes pleading for donations for multitudes of needs: hunger crises, legal defenses, humanitarian needs. We ask ourselves which pieces are important for our help.
I know, I know. You probably immediately tackle the white pile, and decide quickly which you will discard and which you will keep. I have heard about your “type” in organizational magazines.
There are some truths that can help the rest of us confused souls.
First of all, the act of giving, whether financial, or giving our time, is not a choice. It is a direct admonition from God to “give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and overflowing (running over).”
I need to be reminded of that fact. And going to the mailbox is one way that I am constantly reminded. When we give, we receive back. And when we shut off our generosity, we dry up. Selfishness and self-absorption is not how we wish to be identified.
So, back to the mailbox. We can decide to give of our time, our talents, our resources to efforts that will enable others to help themselves. And we can give financially.
Visiting with a friend several days ago, I asked her about her volunteer work at a church sponsored second-hand store. It’s hard work, sorting, preparing, hanging, and pricing the clothes, sorting the glassware, and the many items that are donated by others. This store is a meaningful, productive help to those many who depend on this wonderful service. Women’s Crisis centers, the Orphan Train, Missions, are all receivers of the goods donated by the public.
The mail constantly reminds me of the need to give. Often, I ignore the pleas. But, then, hearing the stories of giving, we become newly motivated. Our teachers often buy clothes and supplies out of their own pockets to help the very children they are teaching; others “pay it forward” buying groceries or a meal anonymously for others and so on.
Perhaps local giving is the most important? After all, if those of us in every town and locality take care of those around us, giving becomes an easy task for us all. Maybe giving money to every needful request in the mail is not what we need to do, but rather to give to those organizations and benefits that are right under our noses?
Awareness is half the battle reminding us to help and give. The returns from giving in any manner pay back to us all much more than what we have invested. Think about it. “Good measure, pressed down, and running over.” Let’s do something about it today.
Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.