I was in a near panic the other day. My Kindle suddenly went blank and I could not get it to do anything. I am not at all a tech geek but I have come to really value my Kindle. It will hold up to 1,500 books, though I only have 38 on it right now. I love to read and this makes my library very portable. I especially like it on those days when my fingers aren’t working very well. It makes turning to the next page just a click of my thumb. With this in mind you might understand my angst when I thought I had lost it all. I went to the Help section online but still nothing worked. The next morning I was getting ready to go online and report the failure to Amazon when I opened the Kindle and it was working fine! Now I did not pray for my Kindle nor do I think that God intervened with my book reader but I am so grateful to have it back, especially as Linda and I go on a holiday starting Monday.
One book I have been particularly enjoying is “Simple Spirituality: Learning to See God in a Broken World” by Christopher Heuertz. In the book he tells the story of Deepa. Deepa is a twelve year old Indian girl. Her mother had died of AIDS and her father was deathly ill. He vested Deepa and her younger sister. He was so frail Chris thought he would break as the girl jumped in his lap. Shortly after the visit Deepak’s father took his life. Chris and his wife sat with Deepa and cried with her over this great loss. His only legacy to his daughters was a scraggly potted rose bush. As Chris and his wife bade Deepa goodbye, with a tear stained face Deepa offered one of the roses to Chris’s wife Phileena. Today he carries that dry flower and remembers her extravagant little gift.
This is so much like the story of the widow’s mite in scripture and it challenges me in my weak attempts to be generous. Perhaps the key to it all isn’t what I give but what I keep! By this I don’t mean just money but my whole self. I sometimes feel ‘superior’ because I give of myself for others. I think it is okay to feel good about this but certainly superiority is sin! But even as I examine what I give I recognize that I hold a lot back. I am an introvert by nature so I excuse this by saying I need time by myself. But I take what may be a basic need for my health and become a glutton!
This last month, as I have been writing about generosity, it became apparent that my 10+ year old car was not long for this world. My habit is to buy a very basic car and drive it until it won’t go so Linda and I toddled off to buy a new car. We went looking for the most basic of models when we learned from the salesman that the car with a number of ‘bells and whistles’ was actually as cheap. I suppose this is because there is not much of a market for a base model. At any rate we drove off the lot with a lot more car than we expected to. I find it kind of embarrassing but I know that when it is 10+ years old I will have long since got over feelings of embarrassment. Not long after buying this car we went to hear Tony Campolo and he challenged us to adopt a child through World Vision. I leaned over to Linda and said “If we can drive a new tricked out car then surely we can adopt a child. So now we have added Chordy and his family in Cambodia to our circle. I still feel challenged and I realise that this is a messy and life long struggle with no pat answers or 10% solutions. I am finding that this is what it means to follow after Jesus.