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By Alyssa Woollard
Friday, July 22, 2016
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV
My grandmother went to the doctor and told her physician she was going on vacation. I am sure it surprised him given she was in the late stages of lymphoma and her exuberant vitality, even at the age of 89 had begun to fail. Maybe curiosity compelled him but no matter-he played along, “Oh really Hazel? Where are you going?”
“I’m going to Glory Land!” she proclaimed with lifted hands, twinkling eyes and a bright smile.
My grandma passed away just a few short months later. She was radiant, full of life and spunk. To be in her presence was a privilege. I always expected that we would just find her one day. Watching her suffer was hard on us all.
My grandparents were poor. But my grandma was a proud, creative and resourceful woman until cancer dimmed her light.
Her daughters tell a story of a Christmas long ago when their mom heard of two girls living close by who were not going to get anything for Christmas that year. Grandma wouldn’t have it. So she took the two dresses she’d been sewing for her own daughters and gave them to the neighbor girls. My aunt said she remembers riding home and listening to grandma explain why she gave their only presents away. And how she didn’t, couldn’t at the age of five, make sense of it. All she could think was, “But now I don’t have a Christmas present”.
My grandmother lived everyday something most of us never fully realize. When we choose to become the blessing we become blessed. The two girls who received my aunts dresses may have forgotten that Christmas long ago. But my family has not. And even now half a century later the lesson my grandma taught that day lives on.
Try to find one person every day to love extravagantly, even if it makes you uncomfortable.
Precious Father, thank You. Thank You for being the ultimate gift giver, for being the ultimate gift. Lord, awaken us to the glory of giving ourselves away. Help us to get over ourselves and into You. Over ourselves and under Your wings. Over ourselves and within Your grace, so that we can turn and give away the same love You have lavished on us. In Jesus name, amen.
© 2013 by Alyssa Woollard. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Friday, 22 July 2016.