Monday, October 22, 2012

Overflowing.. [296/365]

Give and you will receive.

Luke 6:38

Your gift will return to you in full-pressed down, shaken together to make room, running over and poured into your lap. While some might argue that the amount you give will determine the amount you get back, I say, the attitude with which you give will determine how much you get back.

A decade ago, I met an incredibly resilient yet very poor lady. Shortly after she was born, she had juvenile diabetes and began to loose her vision. When she was 10 years old, a quack at a medical facility near her home botched up a surgery and he ended up snipping the nerves to her eyes. She has been blind ever since. Add to that, her family has tried exploiting her condition and when they had enough, they abandoned her. Now 67, she lived all these years on government welfare. When I met her, she had a PCO (Public Call Office aka Phone Booth) and that was sufficient for her hostel fees and food. A couple of years ago, she was allotted a land 19 kms outside Bangalore by the government and they told her to do the rest. It took her 6 years to build a house with one room, one toilet and one kitchen. They don't have running water but got electricity just a few months ago. Her benefactors have helped her in measures. Some by donating a couple of thousands and others by giving construction material.
In the past few months, her health has deteriorated to such a degree that she is unable to run the phone booth. Recently, she suffered a wound that became gangrenous. Unfortunately, the hospital that she visited wouldn't treat her for free. While there were hospitals that would treat her for free, she still needed money for a long-term medical care.
I had to help. We decided to raise Rs 15000/- (about $270). I put the cause forward to my tight-knit church prayer group and we decided to raise money through a fund-raiser.
After weeks of planning and campaigning, I had my first fund-raiser last week. We sold breakfast to hungry church-goers and we'd just made Rs 15000 !
I won't claim success or any form of victory but I can say this fund-raiser brought all of us together in a way that only goodness and kindness can. It was a huge testament to how caring people really are.

I learned a valuable lesson too. I have been ignoring my obligation to the lesser fortunate for way too long now. While we were earning 7 figure salaries, we thought less of giving and passing on His blessings and more on how we could increase our standard of living. We all do. We have been ignoring that silent voice asking for our help and this instance taught us the importance of giving. 

Often when we think of generosity we usually think of giving money. This isn't always the case, and we can be more generous with so much more. We can donate our possessions, time or relationships.

We often thought we would not be able to buy what we wanted if we gave away. We'd always procrastinate but it would never happen. Our wants and needs were endless. Try ignoring that feeling inside you that says you will lose too much when you give too much. It's incredible what comes back to you in return when you freely give.

Three weeks ago, when we wanted to raise Rs 15000, we thought it was a huge amount. But when people came together for the cause, God enabled us to raise that money. How many times have you thought you won't get anything in return? If you've thought that, take heart. You will - Pressed down, running over, shaken together and poured into your lap.

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