In giving we receive

… the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. – 2 Corinthians 9:6

What wisdom this verse of scripture holds as Paul urges the Corinthian community to be generous with their love and service of one another. I had a good experience of this recently when the local hospice director called to ask me to visit a patient named Delores. Wouldn’t you know, it was on a day when my office was a disaster and I was feeling extremely pressed for lack of time. Fortunately, God’s grace led me to say “yes” instead of “no.” I left my office reluctantly, however, worried about the deadlines of work that would not go away while I was gone.

When I returned home after my morning with Delores, I realized how much I had received in return for the few hours I’d given: deeper appreciation for my own health and the gift of life, a renewed compassion as I saw her husband struggle to be her key caregiver, and a sense of the strength and comfort that the love of her adult children gave her as they visited. That brief gift of time helped me realize anew how rewarding giving can be when it is done with an open and willing spirit. And to my amazement, I had some renewed energy for my work and was able to meet my deadlines after all.

God of Love, there are times when I need to take care of myself and times when I need to serve others generously. Help me to choose wisely how I use my time and energy and to serve, always, with a gracious and loving heart.

From Inviting God In: Scriptural Reflections and Prayers Throughout the Year by Joyce Rupp

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