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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Giving up possessions freely

Sometimes Ben, in all his giftedness and passion, gives encouragement, prophecy or words of wisdom using objects to illustrate what he’s saying.  Sometimes these words are given in our home and the objects are from our home – a scarf, a toy, a fruit… a big red ceramic pot sitting on top of our ikea living room shelving unit.

Sometimes at the end of our time with the person, Ben will grab the object and say, in all his loving intensity, “Keep this, Friend.  Take this home with you, let it be a reminder to you of God’s promise and word to you today”… or something along those lines. 

If I am present (sometimes it’s best that I’m not) I have an inner dialogue with myself.  As Ben takes the object down and begins to share his heart, his quiet wife reminds herself of God's Word and battles her other opposing thoughts: “We’re storing up treasures in heaven… My pot!... The early believers shared everything they had… It was a wedding gift!...  I’m pouring out my life to others… It’s the perfect splash of red accenty colour!… Remember how much you’ve been given and how much others have poured out their lives to you… Dishwasher safe and oven friendly!… Remember how much the Lord has poured out to you… it’s only a pot… it’s only a thing…every blessing, every good gift…”  What a ridiculous dialogue to have.  I’m so thankful for grace and growth and the Holy Spirit. 

One particular evening - of course, the red ceramic pot evening – Ben didn't offer up the object to those who received the word from him.  When he gave the word, he looked at me and winked, knowing what I was thinking.  Knowing when he took it off the shelf, my Holy Spirit dialogue started… The pot ended up on our ottoman at the end of the night.  When everyone left, I told him how ridiculous I am to care about a pot; that it’s silly to hold onto objects like that.  He encouraged me: we’re growing; giving away the pot wasn’t really important in that moment. 

As our conversation ended, Ben leaned back on the couch, stretched his arms above his head, and shifted his legs on the ottoman.  His foot jerked sideways, brushing the pot enough to almost, but not quite, knock it off its ottoman resting place. 

We both gasped at the close call, the near-destruction of the precious pot...

… then we both burst into laughter. 

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ 
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, ‘Who then can be saved?’
Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” (Matthew 19:23-26).

3 comments:

Juan Gualberto and Sylvie said...

Love it! Actually, laughed out loud at your inner dialogue! I have had similar ones run through my mind when I have felt prompted to be generous.

Though in all seriousness, I was just thinking the other day of how generous with your things, time and money you and Ben are. I am so thankful as I have often been on the receiving end! You both inspire me to give more freely!

Love you,

Syl

Ben and Maryann said...

Thanks Sylvie. That's encouraging. Love you. Mary

Melissa said...

AWESOME!