When giving is the greatest blessing...
I'm standing here twirling the beads between my fingers, turning them around over and over without a thought, because I just fiddle with things while I'm waiting for the woman to ring up my groceries.
The beautiful apples I hand picked from the nice display of choices.
The bigger thing of spinach, because I have a choice and we are eating a lot of spinach these days.
The box of goldfish because my kids like it after naps and those overpriced individual packets of applesauce that don't require a spoon.
I drive it all home in my dependable car that carries the best of car seats x 3 and pull into my garage where I store the food that nourishes my family for a week and I plop down on the floor to snuggle the boys whom get me all the time because I can be at home, while their Daddy works all week to provide.
And all at once I'm overwhelmed and my heart aches and I feel a bit breathless.
This bracelet you've made that circles my wrist is not just an accessory that matched my shoes for the day. It's your life.
I imagine you cutting, and wrapping and glazing each one. Checking to make sure it's done right and well. Stringing them on and packaging them up, all the while you are trusting and hoping and praying I buy one. That someone buys them. So you can keep your children. So you can eat something.
So you can live.
Thinking of it brings me to my knees and I begin to lather my boys with hugs and kisses against all protest, and I won't stop.
And I ask Him- why Lord? Why have you blessed me so? Why do I get to drive to the store and spend more than she makes in a month, to feed my family and then put them to bed at night in a house with a lock and heat that we turn on like it comes without cost? Then He speaks,
So you can bless her.
So that you, with what I have given you, can bless those without.
Do you think I blessed you so that you could just sit tight and cozy and store up your money in banks and properties and ride safely through life?
And I get a lump in my throat and the tears form.....
Most thank me and then carry on, so grateful they are blessed, but yet haven't received the biggest blessing they could ever get.
Giving isn't a blessing it is THE blessing.
He has given to me so that I can give to others, and isn't that what love is? My sweet sister, toiling away at your trade working long hours and falling to sleep at night exhausted and grateful all at once. Isn't that what our whole life should look like? All poured out, and overflowing. Used up and spent. That is how we truly feel alive.
I put my bracelet away at night, on my shelf and I take hold of the journal from India another made and I sniff it. I breathe it in and pray for her, the one whose have been given life because of it and I glance at the earrings from Peru and I smile remembering how many times someone has commented on them and then I get her share your story too. My scarf from Nepal? It's an eye catcher, and when I describe what these women do to make it, people can help but be moved. And I feel connected to you and to them, chosen to do this task. To shout it out, to share your stories, to lift some of your burden and I am humbled and honored.
As I tuck my wee ones in bed tonight, ever grateful for the warmth their blankets provide, I vow to not just be thankful, but to live out my gratitude by speaking for you and our other sisters like you.
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email me at krystle(dot)bowen(at)gmail(dot)com