September 5, 2008
A Life Changed Because Someone Gave
Laura MacCorkle, Senior Entertainment Editor
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
1 Timothy 6:18-19, NIV
It's back-to-school time, and so naturally I'm reminded of the most recent educational experience that I've had: college!
They were good times to be sure, but they were also years that were very tough financially for my family. While my older sister finished up as a senior at a private university, I stayed home for my freshman year and attended a community college. The next year, it was my turn to go away and so I transferred to a small Christian liberal arts college in the Northeast.
Pretty soon I figured out, as many college students do, that life could be lived on some instant noodles and a one-meal-a-day cafeteria plan. Well, that and an occasional dinner paid for by a gracious - and conveniently located nearby - aunt and uncle.
Other times, when I hardly had an extra cent to my name, I wondered how I'd pay for certain things. But miraculously, about every couple of months, an envelope would appear in my campus post office box. It was from a dear family friend back home who wanted to send me what she called "ice cream money" to help me out. Her gift was always right on time. And whatever amount she sent to me was always the right amount and allowed me to get by for a little while longer.
The final financial blessing received during college happened upon my graduation. Even today, all of these years later, I can scarcely recount this without shedding a tear - because I am still so touched by this outpouring of generosity.
You see, as I was preparing to graduate and move back to the South, my mother and I determined that we could not afford the airfare for her to come to my graduation and then the cost for both of us to travel back home. So we had decided (just between the two of us) that I would not walk in my graduation ceremony and would instead just pack up my belongings and come home.
Somehow, though, my mother's employer found out about this. He insisted that she see me graduate, and so he paid for her round-trip airfare. It meant the world to me to have my mother there to see me walk across the stage, flick the tassel across my mortarboard and hold my diploma in hand.
I share these examples with you today because they are testimony of what the generosity of another can mean in someone's life. And in this case, it was mine. I have been blessed beyond measure, because of others' willingness to use the resources that God has entrusted them to make a difference in my life.
Will you and I do the same for someone else today? No matter the size of our bank accounts, God can use whatever he has given us to bless others and minister greatly to their needs. Let us never forget that our giving can change people's lives!
Intersecting Faith & Life: Instead of paying for dinner and a movie this weekend, what if you dropped a check in the mail to a struggling college student who could probably use some extra cash? Ask around and find out who you can help. Then prayerfully consider what you can give.