Posted September 27, 2013

You know how it goes, you’ve heard it before.

“Last time I put up the towels! It’s your turn!” screams sibling A.

“No! You are wrong! Last time I put up three towels and you put up two! That is more so you owe me a towel,” shouts sibling B.

“Not true! Last time I put up two pairs of your pants, three towels and a washcloth.  You did less so you owe me!” screeches sibling A.

As if I have never acted this way, I storm into their room with my best disappointed look on my face. “This is not how we behave, “I scold. (Ok, great! So how do we behave? … my mouth always has a way of getting ahead of my brain. I’m thinking, hoping the Holy Spirit will take over at any point now.) I shove my hands into my pockets and the crucifix on my rosary pricks my fingers. (“Follow me,” rings in my ears.)

I take my brood of squabbling siblings outside where the wind can clear our mangled dispositions.  We begin to talk about the life of Jesus and how he didn’t have to do many of the things he did. He didn’t have to heal people. He didn’t have to turn water into wine, or make dinner for 5,000 people, or tell stories, or walk on water, or have close friends, or make jokes- but he did.

Sibling B after looking around a bit, “God could have made trees with stumps only. He didn’t have to give trees branches and leaves.”

Sibling A, “…and stars don’t have to twinkle, just having light would be enough.”

Sibling B, “… and Jesus could have healed only one of the blind man’s eyes. I mean it would be better than none, it would be just enough to see.”

I remember that generosity is the economic rule of the kingdom of God. Often when serving others we do just enough for it to “count,” just enough to check it off a list in case God is keeping a tally. One act of shoveling a neighbor’s driveway is not tallied into two sapphires and half a ruby.  Nevertheless that is often where the mind goes when serving others. Just enough is the language of tolerance. Just enough makes sure that I tolerate those around me. But as Christ followers we are not called to tolerance, we are called to love, which is generous.

Generous service might look like sitting at the kitchen table with your homework heavy sixth grader instead of watching TV in the living room.

Generous service might look like holding your tongue when you an “I told you so,” moment presents itself.

Generous service might look like providing a meal for an elderly neighbor and staying to hear about the colonoscopy.

Generous service might look like not only listening to a rundown of the day’s events, but making eye contact and asking questions.

What ways do you serve those around you generously?

Share with us some places you spot the generous service of the Trinity?

Now Underway: The 2018-19 Renovaré Book Club

How do we read for transformation, not just information? First, choose books that stir the soul and have an enduring quality. Then read with God and others at an unhurried pace, attentive to what the Holy Spirit wants to teach. The Renovaré Book Club is designed for transformative reading. It runs October 2018—May 2019.

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