Generosity in Giving

I will try this day to…exercise generosity in giving

My twentieth summer, I worked at Dockside restaurant in Alton Bay. One day, a stranger with a bed roll and backpack came in for lunch. He was thin, and his clothes were frayed. After giving the menu careful consideration, he ordered a cup of chowder and a glass of water.

The cook/owner, Lois, took one look at him through the kitchen window, and said in a low voice, “Oh Lord, someone looking for a handout.” I wondered if she would refuse to serve him, ask him to leave, or just send out the cup of soup and hope he left quickly and quietly. After a minute or two, she rang the bell for me to pick up the order. Lois had put pasta bowl full of chowder and three large pieces of grilled bread on a plate, garnished with a mini salad. “He’s hungry. Take it on over and don’t charge him for it” was all she said.

When he was down to the last piece of bread, he began counting out coins to pay for his meal. I told him the owner took care of it. He said thanks, asked for her name, and left a while later.

On the table was a remarkable mandala drawn in pencil on a clean napkin; on the bottom, the stranger had written these words:

Thank you, Lois. You are a gift from the universe.

Food for the body given on a plate, food for the soul returned on a napkin: Generosity in giving going both ways.

[For the full prayer, click A Morning Resolve above.]

 

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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