“They were incredibly happy, though desperately poor.” 2 Corinthians 8:3 (The Message Bible)
In today’s scripture, Paul had witnessed “desperately” poor (not paycheck-to-paycheck poor) people in Macedonia, who were living under stressful times. Yet, they appeared to be “incredibly” happy. Paul continued his observation, “The trial exposed their true colors…an outpouring of pure and generous gifts.”
In our affluent communities, there are numerous opportunities to take part in the effort to provide a meal and Christmas gifts for families, especially the children, struggling from hard times during the holidays. However, how are we able to give the receiver of gifts an opportunity to give back…if only a smile or a hug?
I stopped in the church office this morning and noticed a new painting hanging on the wall in one of the offices. It was interesting… and stood out on the wall because of the bright colors. I asked my friend, “Where did you get this?” She answered, “From the mother we helped last Christmas. She painted it for us to say thanks.”
A canvas, some paint, a grateful heart, and a prominent place on the wall put a smile on my friend’s face, too.
Dear Lord, help us to remember that it takes more than wealth to be happy. Amen.