Words of Hope: Generosity

My dad grew up extremely poor. He often told stories of the paper route he had when he was age nine. He told us often that some of the wealthiest houses on his route rarely tipped, but one house, the poorest, tipped him almost more than all the other houses combined. This generosity of spirit spoke to Dad. He loved being with generous people— those who love to give. Maybe that is why Dad loved my mom. Mom loves to give gifts; she loves to serve others. She loves to help those in need. 

Generosity of spirit changes us, and it is a wonder to behold. One of the greatest stories on generosity I have heard was from my mother-in-law, Sandy Ferch. She passed away less than a week before Dad from cancer. Her laugh was one of the most beautiful I’ve heard. When she lived on the Cheyenne reservation, a member of the tribe came to greet her. The woman had a very costly turquoise necklace and bracelet inlaid in silver. Sandy loved the jewelry and complimented the woman profusely.  

At Christmas, the woman came to visit with a box wrapped in her hand. Sandy opened the box, and inside were the turquoise necklace and bracelet. Sandy immediately began to weep and implored the woman to keep the jewelry. The woman laughed and told her the Cheyennes love to give gifts. This humbling experience deeply touched my mother-in-law. She wore the jewelry often in remembrance of her Cheyenne friend’s generosity.

When I hear stories like my dad’s poor paper route house tipping above and beyond or of the extravagant gifts my mother-in-law received, I aspire to live like this.

I believe God is generous and gives lavishly. I have been a recipient of God’s generosity. 

“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” – Proverbs 11:24-25