First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

The art of giving. The gratitude of receiving.

May 28, 2016

Would you consider yourself an artist? Me neither. I mean, I can draw things and they look okay but none of my work will find its way into some museum. Still though, everyone has art in them whether fabulous or mediocre. It's sort of like everyone can sing. Some are performing in Nashville and others in the showerstall.

There is one artform that everyone can do to the utmost however.

It's giving.

A good friend of mine suffered severe damage to her gardens, ornamental trees, and yard recently during the 'freak' hailstorm in Red Lion, PA. The storm crushed her perennials, stripped leaves off trees and simply broke the spirit of this lady. Doris is a cancer survivor and great lover of the Lord. She has overcome insurmountable odds and uses her witness in powerful ways for Jesus. Doris is a lady you like to be around because she is funny, serious, and a sweet spirit.  Doris is a generous person who tends to give gifts to others because she appreciates the joy of giving. 

                                 (Just a sample of the damage that befell Doris' beloved property.)

Here's where the art of giving comes in. Secretly, friends of Doris began a campaign to purchase new plants, shrubs, and trees to replace those decimated by the storm. The 'art of giving' is simply found in seeing a need and responding with grace and goodness. These anonymous folks amassed these gifts along with gift cards and helped Doris' broken heart experience the gift of receiving. She will be out in those gardens and with every plant sunk deeply into the soil another layer of healing with shower over Doris. Knowing Doris, she be watering those plants with tears of joy.

 

Doris wrote the following thank you letter. Her loving friends gave and a humble person received their gift with a heart bursting with gratitude. Read Doris' letter and enjoy.

 

     "This has been one of the most humbling days of my life. I wish to offer a HUGE THANK YOU to those people who were

     involved in the campaign to have me replant my flowerbeds. The devastation to my plants was beyond comprehension

     or understanding. I have not even wanted to be at home this week because it was too painful to look at the chewed up

     vegetation.

     Then it was as though God said, " Hold your head up and Pay Attention". For two days, I have received anonymous gifts        of flowers, gift cards and envelopes with money to assist me in covering the cost of flowers, perennials and trees    

     damaged by the hail.

     I suspect my Fawn Area Friends and my Country Meadows Friends are behind some of these gifts. Perhaps some of my

     family as well. Holly Eckloff Weinrich, if you know that CM contributed please share my thank you with them.

     There is no way for me to say an individual "THANK YOU" to each person because there are no names on any of it.

     God has blessed me richly with good, caring people in my life. He has planted the garden of my life with the most  

     beautiful flowers of all ~ FRIENDS! My mother always said her richest blessing in life were friends. I agree!

     I am not used to being on the receiving end of things. I love to give. My hearts is absolutely overwhelmed and the

     emotions have turned liquid and bubbled out to run down my cheeks.

     God bless each and every person who has offered me support of any kind through this mess. I WILL get to the place  

     where I can look and my yard and be happy once again, thanks to those who reached out to me.

     I will replace my annuals and will hold on to some of the gift cards in case by summer's end I see I have to replace some

     of the trees or perennials.

     You will each be in my prayers tonight. God knows who you are. You made Him smile and you made me smile."

 

    Thank you again.

    With love and appreciation.

 

 

When our heart is conditioned to give freely, God's richest blessings always seem to cascade back into our situations with great result! Be blessed today and bless those around you with the art of giving. Thanks Doris for the poignant reminder.

 

 

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