"And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased."- Hebrews 13:16
You can’t really expect too much from someone who’s in trouble. If someone is drowning, or is stuck on a cliff ledge, they’re not going to take you out for dinner or say nice things to you or help you with your project.
They’re too busy trying to climb up the cliff, keep their head above water, not die.
The people who can take you out for dinner, say nice things to you, and help you with your projects can do so because they have enough to give. Generosity isn’t cheap or shallow. It takes effort, and you have something to be able to give something. It requires the emotional and spiritual practice of letting go.
You have to be able to let go of your own problems and needs long enough to consider the needs of others.
You have to let go of your need to store up for yourself and trust there is enough for you to share; that winning and stockpiling and achieving does not equal fulfilment.
You have to ditch judgment and make friends with empathy. Empathy for others yes: to be able to put yourself in someone else's shoes and the trouble they’re facing is a powerful thing.
But empathy for yourself, too. You have to be able to see that you, yourself, are not in trouble. Generosity begins with you being generous to yourself. It begins by trusting yourself, and the Divine, enough to know that you’re not stuck on a dangerous cliff ledge, you are not drowning. You are standing on the solid ground of grace.
Often what we think is dire takes a shift in our focus, and our sense of generosity, for us to see that it’s really OK. We have enough. And there’s important work to do.
“Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship—a different kind of “sacrifice”—that take place in kitchens and workplaces and on the streets.” (Heb 13:16).
Even if that first kitchen is yours.
Written by Lizzy Milani.