I just read this blog on how to bless others who may be experiencing a tougher financial situation than most. It had some great ideas and thoughts, but a perusal of the comment section shows just how negatively some people reacted to it. I have some very strong feelings about it as well, but instead of adding to the varied opinions already posted, I thought I’d respond in a different way.
Money has always been a big deal in my world. Growing up, we were always provided for and we always had food in the cupboard, but brand names were rare and brick cheese was a very special treat. And we were quite happy. Our parents invested in family road trips, camping, museums and experiences that made our childhoods very memorable. After all, staying in a hotel wouldn’t have allowed us the unique experience of body surfing in the Bow River in Alberta or of passing the time by activating the rain catchers in Kejimkujik National Park in Nova Scotia with varying consistencies of spittle. So we’ve learned to live within our means, and I’ve seen so many blessings as result, growing up and as an adult. Simple things like planning a dinner with friends based on what was in our collective cupboards at the time, way too many times to count! Sometimes though, we need a reminder of how others can be blessed, regardless of their (or our) income. My own family has been blessed, and I’ve seen other families blessed in so many ways. Here are a few examples (with names withheld to protect the innocent 😉 ):
-A family went away for a month and loaned their second car (which they wouldn’t be needing) to another family in the church, giving them the invaluable gift of reliable transportation for that month.
-A family provided overnight babysitting at no cost for a young single mom so that she could go to school during the day and work nights to support her child.
-A family inherited the car of a relative who had just passed away. Instead of selling the car or sending it to the wreckers, they gifted it to a young family that needed it.
-A mother of 4 juggles kids and a job to provide a single mother of 3 transportation to the various appointments, errands and trips she needs to make.
-A cash-strapped family used their tithe money to buy and deliver groceries to a family whose paycheck didn’t stretch quite far enough.
-A family invited another family to pick and take home various vegetables at their farm year after year, at no cost.
-A couple cared for the 4 children of another couple that were going through some serious marital difficulties, giving them a safe place to stay while their parents worked things through.
-Many anonymous people have mailed gift cards, left cards at a Customer Service desks, and tucked $20 bills into pockets and purse
-A family took care of 3 children overnight on very short notice when their grandmother passed away.
-A family opens their home to teenagers that need a place to go, offering them a warm bed and safe place to stay for as long as they need it.
-Moms give bags of not-too-worn hand-me-downs to other families for their kids, delivered in person or mysteriously appearing on a doorstep.
-A family who lives in a popular vacation destination keeps their door open for visitors year-round, completely free of charge.
-A family picks up hitch hikers whenever possible, offering them a hot meal and maybe even a place to stay.
-A couple driving along a highway stopped to help a young, sleep-deprived mom and her young children after she totaled her car. They allowed her to use their cell phone, nurse her 2-month-old in the back of their car while waiting for emergency responders, and then drove her an hour out of their way when they discovered she had no other way home.
-A family kept their door open to a couple of teenagers who needed a place to escape to when the fighting at home got to be too much.
-A family with many young children hosted a older man during a serious winter storm, caring for him as if he were family.
-A family keeps a spare bed in their not-so-big home for individuals who find themselves in need of a warm place to sleep.
I’m sure I could think of many more ways that people in my little circle have been a blessing, but this is a good sampling. And I’d like to point out that in almost every situation listed here, the “Blesser” was and may still be living paycheck to paycheck. Let this be proof of the fact that you don’t need money to bless others! Often it’s in a way that costs us nothing to give: time, energy, a resource we can do without. And isn’t that the way we should be living anyway? Giving what we have to others when they need it.
The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed;
those who help others are helped.
I’d love to hear about the blessings you’ve been a part of!
Share them in the comment section and who knows,maybe your blessing will bless others!