Matthew 6: 1 – 4 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
Have you ever met someone who brags about all that they have done and how many cities have felt their presence? Or should I ask, do you know someone who is very ostentatious that saturates you with their personal accomplishments only? I know many like that and pray God that I never become as such. Not for any other reason than, it is against the principles of God. Nothing is wrong with being proud of yourself but as the word of God says, make a boast only in the Lord. Psalm 34: 2 – My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. Do you know that there is power in giving for both the giver and the acceptor? Just look at God. He gave his only son so that we can have everlasting life. There was power in what he did and we too received power in a different form from what he gave. I read a blog called Blues In The Garden and I was taken into deep thought about how much effect we can have on the lives of people when we give. Especially strangers. A word or a smile can have such power and effect on them that when they respond, they pass on a power that gives us a drive to bring change to another. As we go through this life, lets do like the gentleman in the blog below and step out of our comfort zone to bring a smile for someone. Just like him, let us not do it to receive but rather just to bring change and as the word of God says, he will reward you openly. There is power in giving from both sides of the spectrum. Equip someone with power to live and receive a power that is beyond this world from the one only and true God.
No, my wife’s tomatoes haven’t died, the beans haven’t wilted in the 100 degree heat and no my bee’s haven’t absconded. So what’s up with the blues in the garden?
Well, it seems there’s this fella who drives a little green box of a car up and down our street with the music up loud! But it’s not some kid playing the latest flash in the pan pop song with nothing but the base cranked up. This guy is in his 50′s, graying ponytail and all, and you can actually hear more than just another thumping base. And what do I hear? Some of the best blues music around – music that comes right from the soul of our country. So Instead of being annoyed, I’ve grown accustomed to his music and even come to enjoy it as part of something familiar and comfortable. I enjoy it so much I have gotten so I look forward to hearing him go by when I’m outside working in the garden.
This has gone on for a few months now and finally, the other day when I was outside, he drove past and I gave him the thumbs up. (For a moment I considered playing air guitar but wasn’t sure how a 60 year old standing in the garden, playing air guitar with his hoe might be received.) He pulled to the curb, backed up and we chatted a bit. It was a difficult conversation for both of us. He told me his story about being tone deaf and that is why his music is so loud. He also told me he rarely interacts with people because of his hearing problems. Maybe I just look more friendly than most while dressed in my straw hat, leaning on a garden implement and looking like Mr. Greenjeans. (Though my wife wont allow me to wear overalls.)
So a few days later I flagged him down again to give him a CD I had made from a mixed collection of different blues artists. Again we had kind of a stilted conversation because he has a hard time understanding what I say (my wife says the same thing – love you hun) First off he couldn’t believe someone was giving him something and though we had a little trouble communicating he eventually came to understand the CD was for him.
He stopped back by the house a few days ago – says no one has ever done anything like this for him before (that his neighbor lady just yells at him) and really couldn’t express his gratitude. What fun this has been! To simply share some music with a person whom most in society would turn their noses up at. Well, today he stopped by again with a gift and told me he hadn’t listened to anything but the CD I had given him nearly a week ago. I accepted his gift, but explained there was no need for him to give me anything and handed him a second CD I had just finished making the day before. The man is so appreciative of a little music, I couldn’t resist giving him a second one.
This has been a lot of fun and the joy with which the music has been received is hard to describe. He is very grateful and therefore the joy has been all mine. Stepping outside your comfort zone can be very rewarding sometimes. Giving, without any intention of receiving can also be one of the sweetest moments you’ll ever experience.