What does a great big empty space have to do with being generous?
Yesterday I found out. One of our local businesses just moved to bigger premises. Left behind was a very, very, very big empty warehouse that was bought by people we knew a little bit from school and through mutual friends. As a treat, before the new fittings were built in the now-empty warehouse, they invited friends with children to come with scooters and bikes and just ride. Ride and enjoy.
So we packed the car and went off. About 25 kids and a number of parents to sit around and watch and chat. And a once-only chance to see the old building empty and play in it before the work begins.
The owners could have said no. Or they could have just taken their own kids. Or just a couple of select friends. "Too much trouble to invite others. It's the holidays - let's just relax." And that would have been okay. But instead, they said, "Come. Come and enjoy." And their generous hearts opened up to us a beautiful space.
It's the kind of generosity I need. So often when I give, I do it without a giving heart. Yesterday I was reminded that giving is not about money (although it often includes that) but about looking at the good things in your life and finding ways to let them overflow into others'. Sometimes generosity is even a great big empty space. The lady who hosted us yesterday is a living, walking giver. Her orientation is always to giving - you see it everywhere she is. Big and small ways. Every day, all day, she gives and never seems any poorer in spirit for having done so. I'm hoping rubbing shoulders with her will have rubbed off on to me something of her heart that loves to gives and an orientation towards generosity.
Yes, I want to be generous with the means God has given me. Not just money. All of me.