Generosity of TOUCH, Part 1

I received numerous stories about generosity and touch, so I’ll do multiple posts on this value. Here are some great stories:

Story #1: Thinking about generosity, I couldn’t help but think of my husband. He was asked many years ago who is the most generous person you know, and he immediately responded, “My dad.”  All his life he gave of himself to others. Now fast forward to a week in the life of my husband. This week he volunteered at the local elementary school where he works with a student that needs extra help once a week. Then when weeding our garden he continued around the corner and weeded the neighbors as well. When he washed my car earlier this week, he asked the single older woman next door if he could wash hers.  She was delighted. Today after he washed his truck he went to the neighbor down the street a single lady who struggles with health issues and washed hers. Tonight as we grabbed a quick bite at taco time, we were eating and I said, “I think the woman ordering at the counter is a woman I’ve seen on the corner with a homeless sign.” He looked up from his food and said, “I’m going to go pay for her meal.” Anyway it makes me cry as I think of how generous my husband is. And it all started with watching the example of his dad.

Story #2: Our boys, who are in their early 20’s, were playing lacrosse and came across a young man who recently moved to the area. He moved without a car, without a job, and without a place to live. At dinner, our family discussed it, and we decided that he could stay with us until he got on his feet. He moved in a week later and was flabbergasted that we would do such a thing. He became part of our family and got a job a couple of weeks later. He stayed with us three or four months, and when he moved out he left a note:

You have been great beyond words to me. You opened your doors to me, a stranger, without question.  You said, “Here is a room and food”… again without question.  I have never met a family like yours.  Most families I know would not offer this kind of hospitality. You all have gracious hearts, and I wish that I could be as generous as you are. You showed me unconditional love in a world that is only concerned with what they get in return.

I cried when I read how this had impacted him. He was not our first “stray,” and I imagine he won’t be our last. We’ve had four people live with us while in transition. What I love is that our kids know when someone needs a place, and they say without missing a beat, “My parents have room.” Our neighbors think we are nuts at times but “that’s how we roll.”

Story #3 (From Pastor Gary Stabbert): On Sunday morning, Elaine Gillespie was generous with her touch in a beautiful way. Another woman who attends Northshore has recently gone through a series of painful experiences with her health and the loss of loved ones. Her emotions were close to the surface when she stepped up to the information booth where Elaine was serving. Shortly after asking Elaine about a class to attend, this woman began to cry. Elaine walked around from behind the booth and took her into her arms. At this expression of care and concern, she began weeping as she rested her head on Elaine’s shoulder. Elaine held her with love and compassion. Sensing the need for follow through, Elaine asked someone who was standing nearby to cover the information booth. Elaine took her to the Prayer Room to care for her further and pray with her. Elaine’s loving touch opened the door to a powerful ministry in this woman’s life.

Keep the stories coming. Send them to generosity@nsb.org.

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