Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Lesson in Giving

I approached the doors of Walmart, trying to look invisible as I passed the table outside. A woman’s voice said, “We’re collecting school supplies today.” I assumed she was talking to me, but I avoided eye contact. I muttered a noncommittal response and continued inside, trying to ignore the guilt mounting inside me. I tried to consoled myself, leaning on the excuse that as a one-income family, we are limited in the amount we can give.

Moments later, I stood in the bedding aisle holding a bed skirt - a completely nonfunctional item serving only to add to the aesthetics of my daughter’s bedroom. I pulled my shopping list from my purse. Few things were actual necessities. Instantly, my mind suddenly left the store, floating away and resting on a memory I had long since forgotten…

I was in my college dorm room, flipping through the TV channels when I came to an episode of MTV Cribs. The celebrity, whose name isn’t important (and I don’t remember anyway), paraded the cameras through his custom-built garage. At the end of a long line of motorcycles of varying models and colors sat a motorcycle molded out of solid gold. I thought of all the people who could be helped with the money that was now sitting idly in the form of a solid gold motorcycle. How sad that people are so greedy, I thought as I changed the channel.

The memory evaporated as quickly it came, leaving behind the sticky residue of the bubble of denial that had burst in my face. I was suddenly aware of my own abundance: the 55 inch TV mounted to my living room wall, the Android in my pocket, the appliances, decorations, clothes – everything in my life that is so far beyond the realm of true necessity – my own golden motorcycle.

I started to wonder what might happen if I stopped placing the responsibility on those with obvious, excessive wealth and started focusing on sharing my own abundance as much as possible.

I reached up and put the bed skirt back on the shelf and headed for the school supplies.

This is a Bigger Picture Moment. Share with us at Alita's Place today.


  1. Oh, I do believe I was just run over by my own golden motor cycle! Thank you for opening my eyes. I needed this reminder.

  2. Simple. Real. Cut straight to the heart. Thanks.

  3. Ah, good grief. I always console myself with the 'single-income' bit. But if there's anything I've learned while packing up all of our junk, it's that WE HAVE SO MUCH. Mostly unnecessary. Mostly golden motor cycles.

    You are inspiring, in that tiny, quiet way that can change the world.

  4. Lisa, you speak to the depths of my heart. I think about this often, and often I give thanks for the way God has blessed us ... and I love this reminder to remember that if there's food on the table and a house above head, then, yes, we, too, can keep giving. Awesome moment, and so glad you linked up.

  5. I love this! What a good reminder for all of us. Thank you...

  6. Wow what a powerful story! I was especially hit with the line "my own golden motorcycle." So true, and so true how most of us have our one particular brand. Thanks for the reminder and thanks for your giving heart.

  7. always a good reminder! so important to be grateful and satisfied with what we have - and learn to give :)

  8. Oh, I was in tears as I read this. I totally feel the same way, and often I know we should give more, but I don't because I too feel that responsibility resides with those who make six figures. But in reality it lies with all of us. Because just a little bit is all it takes to make someone happy. Thank you for this reminder today.