I didn't think we'd be giving our car away last weekend. Certainly didn't think we'd be trading our wonderfully reliable and well maintained Odyssey for an older, well-loved Chrysler with an eccentric bumper sticker front and center. Life is funny.
It began a week ago, as we prayed that Claire would develop a heart of generosity. She had been really struggling, wanting to store up as much as she could for herself. Over the years, Nate and I have both felt that our personal family heartbeat is a generous one. I hesitated to post this because I know how it sounds, but we like to give. It baffles the mind that even the sweetest child could struggle so mightily with selfishness.
We started to pray for our girl. That she would love generously. Soon after we prayed that dangerous prayer we ran into some friends at the market. They described their need: a bigger car to fit their growing family. Their car, a certain well-loved Chrysler had only 7 seats and this soon they'd be adding a sixth baby to their family. Because our Honda had all the bells and whistles, it also boasted 8 seats. Without talking to each other, we realized that we needed to give this family our car.
Nate heard it in a voice that offered no alternatives, this was no longer our vehicle but theirs. We would share.
I heard it in a softer way. We could choose to give. Choose to be generous and see what our Father would do. The choice was ours.
I prayed Sunday morning for confirmation that this wasn't just me but God's direction. Plus, I sort of hoped I was making this up. I wasn't.
Our pastor rose to speak that Sunday and gave a message about generosity and service. He spoke of obedience to our calling. I cried. We walked out of that church ready to share.
You know, it really is a meager offering. As much as I now appreciate the Honda, it's still just a minivan and all of the things that we think are so amazing are just things. In the early church, it wouldn't even be a thing. They shared. You have a need, my camel is bigger than yours, your family is growing, let's swap. Radical? I don't really think so. Plus the message that I keep hearing over and over is that God loves my Clairegirl so much that He was willing to use us to provide for this family and show Claire what it feels like to be generous. And you know what? It feels good. It felt good to watch my two big kids come back from washing our minivan one last time before we gave it away. It felt good to give away probably the nicest possession I have knowing for sure that God is going to do something more than I can even imagine with my offering. And as I wait to see what He does, I will be rolling my Chrysler, humbled to be used.