My forehead tensed up as I saw the homeless man alongside of the road where I was going to have to stop at a stoplight. My mind raced. I sized up the older man clothed in a big jacket against the Minnesota cold holding a cardboard sign. I looked over at him as I pulled to a stop. He didn’t even look at me.
Then I remembered: (I had just went to Chikfila to redeem a free item, and since they gave me something free, I usually buy something too. Today I just wanted the free fries, but I got a chocolate chip cookie as well.) I had a cookie! So I rolled down my window and asked, “Would you like a cookie?” The man nodded “Yes!”—his eyes thankful with some happiness mixed in. I handed over the warm cookie while saying, “Happy Thanksgiving!” Before the light turned green, he happily munched on the cookie. He looked over at me while he was chewing and smiled. I smiled back and gave him a joyful thumbs up.
My body felt tingly, and I had tears in my eyes because of the joy I felt from giving that man my chocolate chip cookie. My tension had turned to joy and wonder—it reminded me that generosity feels good much of the time!
You know how some people are picking a “Word for the year”? Well, part of me wants to rebel and not do it (it seems sort of trendy), but today while remembering this story I am going to pick a word for 2019.
My word for 2019 is generosity. Giving away things and works and smiles will be a theme for me in the days to come. I’m seeing the awe-inspiring things that can happen when we keep our hands open to give more than expected to those around us. I saw it through giving this cookie away. I saw it this week through giving away a book. I’m excited to see what other great stories God will write this year as I choose to be generous.
So, go for it—choose a word for this year—it’s inspiring. Choose to be generous because you never know what will happen.
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Thank you again, and peace to you and your family!