The Magic Cupboard: A Lesson in Generosity

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” – John 13:35

Just over a year ago, we moved house. As with any new abode, there were a few little adjustments we wanted to make and, for me at least, the addition of a dishwasher was top priority.

So yesterday, I got my dishwasher installed; I obviously need to work on my prioritising skills!

There is nothing more relaxing, as far as I am concerned, than the gentle hum of a magical cupboard doing the dishes for me. It is a far better use of space, IMHO, than the boring old regular cupboard that was there before. My husband is very good at a lot of things, but carpentry is not really one of them. Sadly for us and our new magic cupboard, this is also true of me.

So on Tuesday we had this dishwasher delivered, and, unsure of what to do with it and how to get it from sitting in the hallway to performing its miraculous function in the kitchen, I left it where it was. Tuesday night is the night we host Connect Group at our house and so when “the homies”, as my three year old calls them, arrived, I proudly showed off my new dishwasher to them and explained my problem of how to get it into a kitchen which had no dishwasher-shaped hole, without breaking said kitchen.

Now one of our Connect Group homies is also one of our dearest friends (they all are really, but this is a story about one in particular). Josh is the person who first went out of his way to befriend and welcome us when we first showed up at Energizer Church, close to a decade ago. He has helped me out of plenty of tight spots, from picking up children from care when I was stuck in traffic, to changing flat tyres, and many other situations. It is in his nature to be generous, and I have seen proof of that time and time again.

Without hesitation, Josh offered to come and install the dishwasher for us later in the week, which he did. He did an incredible job and, true to form, found three other things to fix in my house while he was here. “Uncle Josh has done a great job!” declared Jasper and he was right.

When we discussed how we might pay him, Josh said “in beer, but only if you drink it with me”. This says so much about him and so much about what it means to be generous. The goal of his generosity was not to get something; it was relationship. True generosity has no ulterior motive other than to love.

Josh is a skilled tradesperson and his time is valuable, but he demonstrated that relationships are more valuable by helping us out when he didn’t need to. Generosity doesn’t always mean giving large sums of money. It means being free with whatever is in your hand. For Josh, what was in his hand that day was super tradie skills and a couple of “spare” hours (let’s be honest, there’s no such thing as free time, just time we make free). He took what he was good at and was generous with it.

What I am best at is writing, so, inspired by Josh, today I am using that gift to be generous with my honour. My bank account looks pretty sad (maternity leave life!) but I have a “spare” hour, so I can donate that to write this article. Hopefully, you read it and decide to take whatever is in your hand to show some generosity today as well. That’s how it works; generosity breeds generosity.

“The world of the generous gets larger and larger;

   the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.

The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed;

   those who help others are helped.”  – Proverbs 11:24-25

 

  • Jen Grubb
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