Staggering Generosity

In the last couple of years my husband and I have been the recipients of overwhelming generosity. It’s a beautiful and humbling, and sometimes even embarrassing, thing to be the recipient of generosity. After all, what did we do to deserve these gifts, other than go to seminary? And what are we supposed to do with the gifts?

Okay, so I know what to do with them, but beyond the actual cashing of the checks and paying for seminary, what do we do with this kind of generosity? How do we respond to it? Know what I mean?

There are two churches that we have strong connections to who have been supporting us, but then there are the churches we’ve never been to, who got our names from someone who knows someone who knows us…churches in Iowa, Missouri, and Texas.

We never know when a check is going to show up, but it always comes at just the right time…like last fall when we spent about $380 on repairs for one of our cars and a week later we got a check from a church for $380…or this spring when we were planning some vacation time but were still short some of the money needed to make it happen and then a check showed up that was the exact amount we still needed.

And then there’s the church in Wichita, Kansas, where we spent the last year, where my husband did his internship. The kindness and generosity they showed to us was more than overwhelming. I don’t know what the word is that means more than overwhelming, but staggering comes close. There was the pantry shower they threw for us when we moved in last August (we just finished off the last package of spaghetti, have one more roll of paper towels left, and probably won’t need to buy Ziploc bags for at least another year).  And then the baby shower they threw for us in July (we’re able to buy pretty much everything we need with the gift cards we received). And there were also Christmas gifts, going away gifts, and random groceries-are-really-expensive-right-now gifts. Sometimes we could only sit back, look at each other, and all we could come up with to say was, Wow. It was staggering.

But back to the what do we do with this question…

Well, we write a lot of thank you notes. And we do a lot of praying, thanking God for these people He has put into our lives. And we try to set aside a portion of what we have been given to give to someone else.

I love it when Matt tells me we have a certain amount of gift money and asks what we should do with it. Because…

There are these camps that played important roles in our lives… there are  friends who are missionaries overseas… there are friends planting churches… there are ministries reaching out to kids from broken homes… there are tornadoes and hurricanes and wild fires…

There is just such staggering need in the world, and I wish there was more I could do…

This blog is part of a writing adventure. The current theme is generosity. Check out the rest of the blogs at Via Scribendi.

One comment

  1. I love your post. I know some women complain about being pastors’ wives, but I’ve found what you’ve written to be true. Our family is loved and appreciated by the congregation! And they show it in many ways!

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