Give One Away

February 2, 2022

“If you have two coats, give one away,” he said. “Do the same with your food.”

Luke 3:11 The Message

What would someone find it they went through your drawers, closet, and bedroom? In going through my sister Carol’s assisted living room to downsize for her move into memory care I discovered over 50 pairs of leggings, almost as many popcorn tops, and enough toilet paper to keep a family supplied for at least a month. As a bonus, there were hidden snack-size bags of potato chips and Oreo cookies which were a pleasant discovery and something to munch on to tide me over until dinner, and truth be told, to comfort the place inside me that was hurting. The conversation going on in my head went like this, “How in the world did Carol accumulate so much? What was she thinking?”

As the packing went on, I wondered what my family would say if they went through my things. They’d find more socks and tops than I could wear in 2 or more weeks. Like Carol I have more than enough toilet paper. There is a drawer in my dresser where I hide some extra cash, a lesson I learned from my father who always put a crisp one-dollar-bill in every wallet he ever gave me, explaining that it was for emergencies. And then there is the stash of dark chocolate at the back of that one cupboard in the kitchen.

How much is enough?  I heard a young woman speak once about living on only 10 items of clothing for a year. It seemed impossible at the time and still does. The reality is that I have more than 10 of many things, blouses, mugs, glasses, rolls of toilet paper, cans of soda, scoops of coffee, pieces of chocolate. It is also true that for most of the people in the world, 10 items of clothing of anything for that matter, would be a luxury.

The crowds that approached John the Baptizer with the question, “Teacher, what should we do?” wondered what they needed to do to turn their lives around. His response was challenging then and now. “If you have two coats, give one away. Do the same with your food.” Those are hard, yet wise words, and terrible difficult to follow.

I have more than 2. Help me to find the joy of giving some away. ~ Anne

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