The Giving Tree

Saturday, June 14

Photo taken by Doreen Horsley

Photo taken by
Doreen Horsley

By Doreen Horsley of Independence, Missouri, USA

“…give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over… for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

—Luke 6:38 NRSV

We have a mature ash tree in our front yard. It gives great shade to our deck on the south side of our house in the evenings. That was, until 10 p.m. Friday, when we heard a loud noise like thunder. A heavy limb had broken and hit the roof and deck. There was not much to do in the dark but go back to bed for a restless sleep in preparation for cleaning up the next day.

I found the ash tree continued giving of itself in the most unexpected ways.

First we counted blessings. My husband, Jerry, and I had been sitting on the deck more than usual the day the limb fell because we were taking care of Charlie, a visiting dog. The limb fell when we were not on the deck.

The next morning, Jerry went out and bought the long-handled chainsaw he had been wanting. Too bad for Jerry! I enjoyed the exercise I got from hauling branches away, sweeping, and taking photos. Our neighbor and Jerry’s son, Jeremy, came to help. They all worked well together, figuring out the best way to cut the branches since the main branch was still precarious. No one was hurt, and no more damage was done to the house.

We now have firewood to give to Jerry’s mother (“Thank you, son”), and Jeremy took wood for his fire pit (“Thanks, Dad”). There was minor damage to the deck and gutters, but that was it. Six chairs, a table, and three flowers pots on the deck missed the limb’s crush. Only three flowers broke off. I put them in a glass on our kitchen table. Another gift! We expected much more damage.

So, never underestimate the effect of unexpected gifts. Be aware and grateful. As the adage says, “If you’re given a lemon, make lemonade.” As you give to your congregation and mission tithes, surprise someone (like your financial officer) and give more than expected.

Editor’s note: One Sunday, some youth made walking sticks for a journey. You guessed it: They were made from the limbs of the same fallen ash!

Prayer for Peace Loving God, the blessings we receive from you seem never-ending. Often they are unexpected and surprising. Help us find surprising ways for us to return your generosity. Help us find unexpected ways to share Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Generous Offerings Spend time meditating on the act of giving an offering. Begin by asking God for the spirit of generosity. Ask yourself, “What is my best understanding of A Disciple’s Generous Response? Do I feel I am giving to my true capacity? How will I respond?”

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will be aware and thankful for your generosity.

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1 Comment

  1. Vera Entwistle

     /  14 June 2014

    What a positive story to start my day! I think your positive attitude is great. Enjoy your lemonade!!!

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