In his book "Too Small To Ignore", Wess Stafford shared that every encounter with a child is a divine appointment, an opportunity to plant a seed for God's kingdom. I prayed over those seeds as I prepared to teach a class of 8-9 year old girls at our church this morning. It's not only their hearts that need those prayers, but mine, so that it can be prepared to sow those seeds and to learn from these children just the same.
Every month has a theme in our children's ministry, and this month, in light of Christmas, our theme is Generosity -- "Making Someone's Day... By Giving Something Away." As part of our lessons, we saw a video about the parables of the rich fool. The children got to see how the man had hoarded riches rather than sharing his abundance with others who had less. His greed had so moved God that God Himself came to speak to him, calling him a rich fool, and letting him know that on that very night, he would pass away, and then what of his riches that he had hoarded for himself?
As we walked back to our small group classroom, I asked the girls what their impressions were of what we had just seen.
She had been pensive as she pondered what she had just seen. The question that arose from her put the prayers of this morning to the test.
"So, if we're not generous, do we die too?", she asked.
There is only one lifeline available at times like these, and thankfully the Holy Spirit never gives us a busy signal. He provided the answer in real time.
"Jesus provides life to the fullest when we invite Him into our heart. He fills our heart, if we let him, and He fills it with life, eternal life... but when we choose greed, we choose to give a part of our heart to someone else than Jesus, we give that piece to the enemy, and that piece of our heart dies. So yes, there is a part of us that dies when we choose greed. Greed does rob us of life -- anything less than Jesus robs us of our life."
Then, as quickly as it came, the moment was gone. The conversation turned to giving away Christmas and the Advent Conspiracy. Giving chickens, goats, time, love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, compassion... and siblings, of course. :o)
We finished our time together with a game of Stick-It-To-Ya, where we chase each other with a handful of stickers, trying to stick them on everyone else because it's much more fun to give, you know? She who gives away all her stickers wins. I explained that we would call this the Tahameena Game, because Tahameena shares the stickers we send her with her brothers and friends who haven't received letters or stickers. Generosity, reinforced.
It was hard to get the stickers to stay stuck to us, they kept falling off of us, but no matter... It was a beautiful way to wrap up our morning, with a reminder that there are things that are meant to stick to us temporarily, and then, there are lessons we pray stick to our hearts for a lifetime.