Charity

Charity: (n) the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need.

“I’m no charity case!”

It is a statement often flung in my direction when I’m attempting to be generous to someone who obviously could use some bolstering.

The statement is prideful statement, and unfortunately, doused in ignorance. For truly, there is not a soul among us who does not
occasionally require the charity provided by strangers.

In viewing my abundant life, there have been many times when I have possessed finance to fund an unnecessary, extravagant dinner–and also specific occasions when a dollar bill lit up and danced before my eyes because its arrival was truly divinely inspired.

If we go with the Old English definition of charity–which is love–the desperation each of us possesses to be loved is incomprehensible.

Denying it makes us look like foolish, pouting children.

Demanding it too often has the whiff of the charlatan.

So I have a simple saying in my life:

“May those around me who happen to arrive at just the right moment to come to my aid find me busy doing my best, unaware that they are on their way.”

 

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Amen

dictionary with letter A

Amen: (exclam) 1. uttered at the end of a prayer, meaning “so be it.” 2. used to express agreement or assent

Turning my TV channels in the wee hours of the morning, I stumbled across a whole series of religious programs, proffering their view of the holiness of God and the varying degrees of the depravity of man.

Although they were quite different in appearance and style, their content was similar in one remarkable way: every once in a while, as the speaker was touting his or her revelation, they would stop and say, “Can I get an amen?”

After a while, it lost some of its charm and spontaneity and began to reek of desperation. It was similar to pausing in the middle of a romantic encounter and asking your partner what she thinks of your lip technique. Or going to have a new tire put on your car and having the attendant insist that you come and watch him and grunt your approval during the process.

It just isn’t very attractive in the human experience to be so needy that you feel compelled to demand reinforcement.

I know we’re supposed to tell people we love them, but honestly, after a while, it sniffs more of platitude than it does gratitude.

An “amen” should come forth when the audience spontaneously feels energized by a notion or a prayer that causes them to give voice to their support.

I don’t like to go to a concert and have the group onstage, before they have even sung a note, insist that we all begin clapping. I don’t like being forced to stand up and I don’t want to be “rallied” to a cause which is either not clear to me or has not stimulated much enthusiasm in my soul.

If we do too many charlatan actions in our lives, faking our zeal, we soon will forget what it’s like to be overtaken by joy, overwhelmed by blessing and swept along by the magic of great ideas.

As I watched the shows last night and the camera scanned the audience, they were a strange mixture of bewilderment and submission.

If God needs me to merely perform the function of a pawn which He pushes across a chess board to generate the appearance of movement, then honestly, I’m not particularly interested.

But I am fully prepared to be affected, stimulated and rejuvenated … at any time.