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I had already cooked for him.  I had already looked for something else that I could whip together to fill his stomach.  As he left I put some things in a bag for him to take with him.  He stopped me, apologized for…I have no idea what, and insisted to not take anything more from my family and, specifically, me.  I looked at him with disdain and a bit of impatient stubbornness and asked, “Don’t you understand?  The enjoyment I will receive by giving you this food will far outweigh the enjoyment I would get from keeping it for myself.”   Well, clearly he did not understand that.  He obliged, but certainly did not understand.

Recently, I was blessed with the opportunity to cry with someone.  I’m not tooting my own horn (in the paragraph above or in this one…or this entire post for that matter) but rather explaining the true privilege it is for me to have someone share their heart and their sadness with me.  Was it uncomfortable?  Not in the moment.  Did it take some of my time?  Yeah, but there’s a lot more of that in a day than you would ever really admit.  So, what was the cost?  Emotional energy.  That’s it.  I’m not saying that cost isn’t something.  I’m just saying that it’s a worthwhile expenditure.

Think of the greatest accomplishment that you have had in the past x weeks/months/years etc.  How much will others remember it?  How important is it to anyone besides yourself?  Please, I’m not saying that the things we accomplish in our lives are meaningless, I’m just trying to point out something else.  If what we accomplish is centered around making our lives better we may achieve that.  If what we accomplish is focused on making others better, we will do that and make ours better as well.

Jim Elliot was a missionary who once said, “He is no fool who gives (away) what he cannot keep…”  Our lives are not permanent.  The things that we strive for are but fleeting objects.  We are here and then we are gone.  Some live longer than others, but all pass.  Therefor, if our life is temporary and not guaranteed, why not give it away?

I am not sounding the trumpet call to charity or volunteer work.  I am not telling you to empty your bank account and live a life of meager existence.  I’m talking about YOU.  Give you away.  We hold ourselves so close and protected.  We emotionally barricade ourselves in hopes of never being hurt only to realize that there is no fortress that protects our tender heart.  For many the only solution is to harden said heart and feel nothing.

Give your life away.  Give it to others.  Laugh with them cry with them, listen to them…enter their world.  It is such a beautiful thing to come alongside someone in their moments of joy or sadness to, not say the “right” thing but, keep them from being alone emotionally.  When we have the opportunity to do this, that memory will last with those we have blessed forever.  Whenever they think of that sad time, they will always remember you as well.  Your effort to love them that day will render benefits and blessings for years to come.

You would be no fool to give your life away, you’ve been blessed by those who have.

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