Last Sunday, we joined the line of families carrying our boxes of groceries for the needy to the St. Vincent de Paul truck. I was struck by the many families who themselves I know have lost jobs, have family illnesses, or have very little of their own, but yet, there they were, among those lined to give to others.
Reading through the Oregon papers this week, it was apparent that our desire to help others through these tough times is not limited to our little community…it’s happening all over the state. Linn-Benton counties reported the boxes received have already surpassed last years numbers by over 10%!
All this selfless giving by not only folks who can afford it, but especially by those who are going through hard times themselves reminds me of the Biblical story of the Widow’s mite. And, the words in Philip Bliss’ tune “The Widow’s Gift” that says, “I am poor, but I love my Lord. I will give the rest to Him. I know that He will bless me, though my prospects look so dim.”
In the last couple of weeks my husband’s Knights of Columbus Council delivered three packed carloads of blankets, coats, sleeping bags and sweaters to the Old Chapel downtown to “Clothe the Cold”. Children, elderly, families from all walks of life again had delivered for the cause. Giving much or just one coat, they gave.
As we packed the cars, the church janitor ran over with his one sweater he had to give. I wished he could have seen the face of the homeless street wanderer whose eyes sparkled as he put on the old sweater—new and warm to him. These are the blessings that can’t be measured in money or time.
So today, as we sit down to the bounty of our meal, we can say a prayer of Thanks for what we have, and also for what we can Give.
Oregon’s unemployment rate reached 7.3% this month, so there will be many opportunities to give to folks all around us, many who may be too proud to ask. Keeping our eyes and ears open, we will find some who need a few dollars till their pension check arrives or who need help to cover school fees. Our “mite” can be “mighty” to them.
Kay was an insurance adjuster and executive for 15 years, a small business owner and a teacher for 10. But, her most fulfilling work has been as a mother of her two boys. She is now looking forward to an empty nest with her best friend—her husband.