Giving Transforms Us
At the end of Sunday school, a middle school boy took on the task of carrying two full baskets of soap to be blessed in the sanctuary on Sunday. He carefully carried the load, not accepting any help. It is a very long walk from the education building to the sanctuary when you are carrying something heavy. He would slow down and eye the basket, making sure not to drop one bar of soap. When the Sunday school group stopped at the sanctuary doors to say the Lord’s prayer, this young man would not even let the baskets touch the ground. This child understands the importance of what he is carrying. But what he may not realize, is the real transformation in the act of giving. I saw this plainly in this simple act of carrying baskets of soap.
In giving, we tend to focus and imagine how our “gift” will help others. We may imagine the recipient appreciating what we offer. It is easy to think about how someone will benefit from food, clean water, shelter, but we may miss that in giving, we are transformed as well. When we give, we are changed forever. We are knocked out of our inward struggles and imperfections. Our hands and our hearts become the Creator’s masterful, life-giving touch. Each time we give, we become more and more like Jesus.
Something funny happens then. You want to give and give and give. You may find yourself shopping for soap in bulk. You may start sniffing bars and filling your cart up, like a giddy soap fairy. Even though you may have come to the grocery store glumly searching for antacids and bunion pads, you feel joy as you think of others, loving your neighbor as yourself. This is what we are called to do. We are called to be the change; be love in the world. These small acts of kindness do make a difference in the lives of others and our own.
Do not forget to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Hebrews 13:16
February is dental health month. Children’s ministry invites you to shower Union Gospel Mission with toothbrushes, floss and toothpaste. We are proud to partner with the students of St. Martin’s Episcopal School and Fever United to help us with this campaign and donate too. Each Sunday, children and teens will be encouraged to bring soap to the altar to be blessed as they go up for communion or a blessing. This campaign ends February 22.