Today's Lectionary Text
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’
Last year I waged a full-on war against clutter in my house and my garage. I won’t confess to how many years the boxes had been in my garage or in my attic, but rest assured there was nothing in there I needed desperately.
When I started separating trash from treasure, I thought maybe I might be able to make some money with what I had found. Garage sales are admittedly not my forte, but with Facebook marketplace or Craigslist maybe I could turn some of these unwanted items into cold hard cash.
My first few attempts at selling something were a bust. Someone would contact me but never show up or reschedule multiple times. It didn’t take long for me to be frustrated. I could consign items at a local store, but there was no guarantee that lugging those items into town from my rural home would end in a sale or them taking my unwanted items.
As my frustration grew, I began to feel a nudge. One of those God nudges. We have a local agency that takes gently used items and makes them available for those in need. That’s where my items belonged. They deserved a new life where they could be of use to others.
Once I let go of trying to make money off my castoff items and freely give them to be of use the lighter, I felt. The more carloads (yes, I said loads plural) I took the more I thought of the people who might need those items and simply didn’t have access to them. It wasn’t work, time consuming, or even frustrating to let go. I received space in my house and garage in exchange for someone being able to use those items that collected dust in boxes. My castoff items might be what someone else needed or wanted that had previously been out of reach.
It made me realize how lucky I am to receive so many good things during my lifetime. I hope that I continue to listen to those God nudges when he gives me the chance to draw nearer to him through good works that bless those less fortunate than myself. Not for my glory but for His.
Communications administrative assistant
Prayer for Reflection
Heavenly Father, thank you for the abundance you give me in this life. Let me use it to bless those less fortunate than myself.
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