Giving from the Heart

When a small gift is a very big thing.

Posted in , Sep 17, 2015

Giving from the heart.

I was recently reminded that even small giving can be a very big thing.

I heard the musical toll of a Mississippi riverboat as I pushed a son in the tire swing. The music often floats from a paddlewheel boat and drifts through our small town.  The sound is similar to that of the ice cream truck that travels our streets in the summer.

As I pushed my son higher, I remembered another small son who also once heard the music. Gabriel was just five back then, and he thought the sound meant ice cream.  I found him waiting on the driveway, thin, brown arms looped over summer-scraped knees. He peered down the road, and his small treasure chest was beside him.

“What are you doing, Gabe?” I asked.

His gap-tooth smile broke wide. “Treating the family,” he said. “Look what I have!”

He opened the latch of his treasure chest and his life-savings lay inside. Crumpled dollars. A plethora of change. 

I was sad to explain that the truck wouldn’t be coming around the corner. And Gabriel and I talked about safety, too. But what touched my spirit was his generosity. This little one didn’t have much, but it was his desire to give what he had. It reminded me of Jesus and His followers in the temple. They watched as a widow came by and gave an offering. It was a pittance compared to the giving of the wealthy, but it was great because it was all she had.

The giving was significant.


Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They gave out of wealth, she gave out of her poverty.” (Mark 12:43)

If Jesus thought enough of this offering to speak attention to the giving, I should listen.

The act of giving reflects the soul.

Gabriel and I left the drive that day. His treasure chest went back on the shelf beside soccer trophies and a plastic pirate sword. But it didn’t stay there for long. A trip into town meant a stop at the ice cream shop where older brother Grant worked.

We all had single scoops in sugar cones.

Gabriel’s treat.

As I listened to the music and remembered that day, I recognized that Gabriel had given from a deep place.

A heart gift, when it comes with sacrifice, is anything but small.

Lord, help me to give sacrificially today…of my possessions, my attention and my time.  Amen.

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