A Willing Giver
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7
When you looked at Thelma’s stooped shoulders, the head that shook a little as she grew older, the lined and worn hands, you may not have realized
that she was a great example, but she was. Do not think for a moment that Thelma was just another one of the elderly, the best part of her life
over, simply waiting out her last few years. I know better.
Thelma had real joy living in her heart. If you looked at her home, you might ask, “Why?” for her surroundings were very simple. If you looked at her
clothes, you might ask, “Why?” for what she wore, although neat and clean, was far from being the latest in fashion. If you looked for her family,
you might again ask, “Why?” for she never married or had children.
What was the secret of her happiness? I do not suppose she ever gave it a thought. She would just say, “God has been good to me.” But I think I can
tell you why Thelma had such a peace and happiness about her, and why I say she was an example.
Thelma had learned that there is a great blessing for those who willingly give to God. When Thelma knew about a need, she did something. It might not
have been much. Maybe it was a dollar or two tucked into an envelope and placed in someone’s hand. It might have been a card to missionaries far
from home, enclosing a “little something” for a need she had heard about, or a quarter tucked into the hand of a five-year-old. I once saw her
slip into a ladies’ room and take off her stockings to give to a woman off the street whose legs were bare and cold. I watched her laboriously
trim old greeting cards and religious pictures to package up and send to India. The need may have been Bibles to foreign lands, food for a needy
young woman whose husband left her and the little children, or a few dollars toward the entertaining of the seafaring men who visited the church.
When Thelma saw a need, she did something!
If you had known Thelma, you would have noticed that she glowed with an inner light. She had found a blessing greater than any treasure money could
buy. We read, “God loveth a cheerful giver,” and I know God loved Thelma. We would all be wise to follow her example.