Early in our marriage we tacitly decided never to play Monopoly with each other. It’s just too cruel a game. Then a decade or so later, a distant cousin of my husband came up with a game that was on the market briefly, called Generosity. I think of it often because its philosophy and goal was so counter-culture.
–The goal of the game was not have the most money or property on hand, but to have stored away the most money in your “heavenly treasure chest.”
–In order to put money in that “heavenly treasure chest,” you had to draw a card that invited you to give some of your own money to a specific cause such as missionary work, helping a poor person, etc. BUT that’s not all. You had to draw another card to determine whether your attitude was right or if it stunk! (God loves a cheerful giver!) Only if your attitude was good did you have the privilege of giving.
The game has been passed on to one of our kids. I hope his family will not only enjoy playing it but will also learn well its godly principles of money management, of kindness and of true values.
I wish I were an artist. Here’s what I would draw: A close-up of a boy shyly holding out a small basket, offering it to Jesus, who reaches out to receive it with a twinkle in His eye and a smile on his face. He says, “Sonny, thank you for giving me your lunch. But just wait till you see what I do with it!” Later, he runs home shouting, “Mom, you know that lunch you sent with me? You’ll never believe….!”
This reminds me of our granddaughter Emmeline who went home to heaven three months ago. Late last year, she responded to a challenge: What would you do if you received $50 and would seek to multiply it as Jesus did with the loaves and the fish? Emmeline responded with an essay saying that she would buy materials to make cards (which she loved to do), sell them, and send the money to a missionary family in need. She was then chosen as one to receive the money. In the next couple of months she had doubled her investment.
As her health deteriorated and she was unable to keep up making all the cards, people from all over the world learned about her project and began sending money– usually one dollar bills, and a few 5s , 10s, and 20s and an occasional check—to put into her “Loaves and Fishes” fund. By the time Emmeline was in the arms of Jesus, the fund had grown to $9,000. She was just a conduit of God’s grace. Those who gave and those who received were privileged and blessed.
Yesterday I read through a bulletin which mentioned many different things God’s people are doing/offering around the world. Any one of these might seem so inadequate compared to the great needs, but each one is an important part of one beautiful tapestry God is weaving now that we’ll see someday.
So today I give my little lunch, my loaves and fishes, as I answer some e-mails, make reports, mentor someone, help a neighbor… I have no idea how God will use these things. That will be seen in heaven.
Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!