When I went to bed last night, the bag in question, nearly full with personal hygiene supplies and a few cans of beans and fruit, sat on my kitchen counter. I put it near the coffee machine and stove so I was sure to see it immediately. It was a redundant gesture because that brown bag weighed on my mind quite a bit. I had hoped, with the kind input I received through my blog and via Email, that I would have more clarity in the morning. When I awoke, I discovered I did.
I was reminded of the fact that just as I had packed these items, they were requested. The timing of it surprised and delighted me. If only that happened with dirty dishes, leaf piles, or my kid's dirty laundry. It occurred to me that this moment, this decision, was a challenge. I don't think that God tests us, but I do think he challenges us in ways we don't always understand.
After previously discussing with my children the concept of "turning the other cheek" I was offered the chance to do just that. By giving this church my products, I was helping all groups of people. I knew the organizations to ultimately receive them didn't discriminate. They help whomever walks through their doors and sadly, there are many. More and more families are displaced from their homes every day. More and more children go hungry each night. More and more elderly go without their medications all for the lack of money or opportunity.
More and more people show up at churches, missions, and wherever they are accepted with a single hope of kindness and dignity. A bar of soap, a toy, a clean shirt or coat can make a huge difference when you have so little. I hope they use what I have given them and in return, I will do my best to give more than I usually do because times are more difficult than they usually are.
Many of the expressions I grew up with served me today. "It's better to give than to receive," "When you give, give without strings," "Accept people for the quality of their character" and "Don't expect to be forgiven when you withhold forgiveness." I feel wiser today. I feel blessed and I am truly grateful to all who responded to my blog post. I might not have done what you would have done, but I did what I felt was best for me. Thank you again for all of your help!