When we were preparing to go to Guatemala, I had a plan. It had been stated that they really like (and need) our clothes, especially our jeans. I decided that I wanted to leave the clothes I wore behind for the people.
I knew of a local thrift store that had dollar days. Certain colored tags would be $1.00 on certain days. I have often found great deals in the past. When looking at my calendar there was one dollar day that was going to happen before we left.
I went. My intent was to buy clothes to take with me to then leave. As I was looking, looking, looking... would you believe I could not find even one thing that was $1.00 in my size?
How could this be in this huge store? With this huge inventory? When I had always found something in the past?
As I continued looking my frustration was also increasing. I began to notice a prodding in my spirit. A voice that kept saying over and over...
Give of what you have..... Give of what you have.... Give of what you have...
With having recently returned to work I had an abundance of jeans and t-shirts that I could no longer wear with the frequency of when I was home. Even so I was tempted to rationalize.
"But God, if I take and leave what I have, that will only leave me with a few pairs at home." The response? "And that would still be more than what they have."
I left the story empty handed.
Even now when thinking back, I am convinced I found nothing that day because I needed to learn an important lesson.
I need to learn to give of what I have.
Not just material possessions. I need to give of my time. Words. Prayers. Encouragement. Life... It may not seem like much, but it very well could still be more than what someone else may have.
And so my luggage was packed... with items from my own drawers. Items I already had.
At the end of each day working there, a black bag was filled with what I had been wearing that day. Not only did I participate, but the plan caught on and both my son and husband participated as well as others from our team.
The mission organization was going to wash those big black bags of clothes and distribute them to the people in the lake area. Not only were our clothes left. Some of us even left our shoes and extra suitcases.
I would like to believe that God affirmed our plan, as one of the suitcases we took completely ripped open on the trip.
If we were planning to bring everything back home that we took, this could have been very upsetting. As it turned out...it was no big deal. For after we left all that we did, we would have had nothing to put in it when we came home anyway.
And so I challenge you with the same lesson that has resonated in my heart and throughout my days since...
What do you have to give? In your things, yes. But what about your time? Words? Attitude? Encouragement? Prayers? Presence? Life?...
It may not seem like much, but it just may be exactly what someone else is needing!