Rabid Fun

John Cowart's Daily Journal: A befuddled ordinary Christian looks for spiritual realities in day to day living.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Happy Gifts

Yesterday, at her office someone gave Ginny this gift:

The note card said that the flowers were to say Thank You for a kindness Ginny had done to someone. The gift of flowers surprised and delighted my wife because she certainly did not expect anything of the sort.

And no, I’m not the one to send her the flowers; it was one of her many other admirers.
Unexpected gifts are a delight.

Last week the snail mail postman delivered an unsigned card to my house. No return address was on the envelope. The card contained $50 cash. I have no idea who sent it to me. Or why. It came right out of the blue.

Not knowing any other donor, I can only thank God for this happy gift.

That’s the way it should be.

Jesus said that when we give to the poor, we are to give in secret not blowing a trumpet to attract attention to our alms and acts of charity. In fact He said we are to give without even letting our left hand know what our right hand is doing.

That way only God gets the credit and praise.

Besides, when we give in secret, nobody else will ever know just how little we give compared to what we keep for ourselves and we won’t have to be ashamed at our parsimony.

Actually, I go the Lord one better in the giving and living department, Ginny says that most of the time my right hand does not know what my own right hand is doing.

But people always assume that I am more generous than I am.

So I don’t feel comfortable talking about how much Ginny and I give, just about what we receive.

Nevertheless, I will say this:

The Bible teaches certain criteria about people we are to give money to and last week I ran across a whole bunch of such folks who met these criteria all on the same day, so I gave each one of them a little dribble of money, and in order to give to some of them I had to go to a great deal of trouble and aggravation.

The poor are always with you and are always a pain in the butt.

Anyhow, when Ginny and I shared our experiences at the end of that day, she laughed at my troubles and said, “It would have been a whole lot easier, Love, if you had just stood at the end of our driveway and handed cash to the driver of every car as it passed”!

What brings the subject of anonymous giving up for me is that last night someone (who remains unknown) gave Patricia (one of my daughters who has been going through a bad patch recently) a gift of $600.

No strings attached.

No conditions to be met.

No person to thank but God.

Patricia said, “I am flabbergasted! Nothing like this has ever happened to me before”.

First she hugged herself.

Then she giggled.

Then she cried.

Thanksgiving welled up inside her and she had no one to turn it toward except the Lord God Almighty, the Giver of every good and perfect gift.

As I watched the dynamics of unknown giver and thankful recipient play out in my own living room, as a bystander I felt a sense of awe and thankfulness myself.

Watching Patricia, I felt like crying too.

We are each and every one on the receiving end of God’s continual lavish giving.

Each day brings new mercies which we, me included, often tend to view as commonplace. Ordinary miracles. Our right and due.

How boorish.

St. Paul said, “By grace are ye saved through faith; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast”.

And what is the only reasonable way to respond to a gift?

He gives because He loves.

“For God so loved the world that He gave…”

What can we say but, “Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift”!


I continue to do yard work and haunt the mail box waiting for my proof copy of the Rogers Diary to correct before starting writing my next book.

Ginny and I saw a yellowthroat at the bird feeder yesterday. This tiny bird has an olive back with a yellow breast and head with a black mask. A beautiful creature. I wish I could have snapped a photo.

Just visited the blog of my e-friend Amrita; Thursday she describes wedding customs and gifts in India. Fascinating.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 5:12 AM


At 8:29 PM, Blogger agoodlistener said...

How nice for Ginny. A former student once sent me a gift certificate for $100. I called to thank him and as we talked, he said, "You don't remember me, do you?" Stupidly, I admitted I didn't. I always felt bad about that. His name was Mohammed. May as well have been John, it's so common.


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