My first significant memory of generosity occurred when I was living on my own for the first time with my first child. I brought home $103 a week. My budget was a ballet of spending the least amount possible while providing for my son. I remember buying two apples and a quart of milk figuring that I could stretch them out for 4 days if I gave him half an apple a day and a cup of milk with his dinner.
At one point, I was short on rent $60. I don’t remember why, but I remember putting my son down for a nap and crying for a long time. In the midst of my hopelessness, the phone rang. It was a man I’d met at a church I’d visited once a couple of weeks previously. He said God told him to call and asked what I needed. Reluctantly, I told him that I was worried about my rent for the month, feeling uncomfortable sharing my problem. After talking a bit, I revealed that coming up with $60 seemed impossible. We prayed over the phone, and I felt good that he’d cared enough to contact me. The next day there was an envelope with $60 in it by my door when I came home from work. To this day, I don’t know how he knew my number, where I lived, or how he knew to call. I never saw or heard from him again.
That gift of $60 is still with me rippling outward and expanding in my life. It taught me that miracles happen. It’s moving me now as I write about it. His generosity taught me how to give without expectation, and I learned by trying to follow his example that giving benefits the giver as much or if not more than the receiver.
Written by Kathy
The 12:12 Project is sponsored by Katy First United Methodist Church.