2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (New International Version, ©2011)
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
He sits in a stench of non-apologetics, wild beard like unkept dread-locks, this misplaced Rastafarian, invisible and oblivious to the hustle and grind of the PATH – Toronto’s underground walkway. Passed by like nothing more than a shadow – like nothing more than a speed bump on the ramp reaching up into sunshine. Like nothing. His sad little nickels jingle weakly in a dirty paper cup, a tired attempt to draw attention. There’s no guessing his age, he appears ancient, wrapped up like a mummy in rolls and rumples of faded plaid. Eyes, moist and glassy, peering through matted hair and pain, begging for a moment of human contact, slumping deeper into his bed of torn Toronto Stars with each hurried step that avoids and shuns.
We are a group of twelve, a jovial rainbow of chaos echoing off the tiles. We see him from a long way off, a lump in the centre of the floor. I am tightening my grip on my purse, plotting a path that will keep me as far from his pile as possible, already deciding that I won’t meet his eyes.
The twelve year old breaks away, rustling through her bag until she finds her wallet, kneels down right in front of him – fake cowboy boots on a corner of his paper – empties every coin she has into that dirty paper cup – *plink*, *plink* ,*plink* – looking him right in the face, eyes void of disgust and rich with compassion.
And then her brother, eleven years old, breaks away, digging in his jeans pocket, letting his treasure *plink* onto his sisters and with every *plink* that man sits a little straighter and with every *plink* my heart breaks a little bit more because I realize just how selfish I am.
Lord, please grant me the open hands of a child. Give me a generous heart that will set aside my own selfishness in order to better someone else’s life. Make me a joyful giver, a willing giver, a generous giver. Make me like a twelve year old girl who would give it all for nothing more than a smile. Lord, make me more like You.
Alanna Rusnak shares her life with her husband, three children, and a cat she’s trying hard not to love. She has attended HMC for her entire life and been on staff since 2003, currently fulfilling the role of Creative Communications. You can find her over at her own blog, SelfBinding Retrospect.