During the past two weeks I have received more gifts of hospitality than I can remember since my last visit to New York! People shared, gave more than they had, and gave of themselves in unlimited amounts. The contrast with the world was and is profound! Open arms instead of guarded approaches, willing hearts versus closed minds, and comrades in lieu of people in isolation. Wisdom in regards to the world is clear –
“Don’t accept a meal from a tightwad; don’t expect anything special. He’ll be as stingy with you as he is with himself; he’ll say, “Eat! Drink!” but won’t mean a word of it. His miserly serving will turn your stomach when you realize the meal’s a sham.” (Proverbs 23.5, 6, 7)
They never said anything about the opposite! Is there a formula that one should follow when someone shares the last bite of his or her dessert? Is there anything that one can or should offer to the person who opens the door to an experience of beauty, peace, or awe – especially when it comes in one package?
For much of my life I saw God as someone who was stingy, harsh, and vindictive. Nothing I could do would please him. I always felt like a child – he gave me a mind but I was not supposed to use it! Anyone could see my role, straight and narrow.
I was so wrong. I was blind. I was looking at a god who is not the God of the Bible. If you don’t believe me, read the Bible for yourself. I finally discovered the person who was and is the Chief. I discovered he already knew about my failures. I learned that He anticipated that I would continue to look away, even after I first saw him. I saw that he reaches out to each, not because of what we have, are, or will do, but because we (you and I!) are his children.
My advice? Accept the meal! Expect something special! He will be as generous with you as he is with himself!