"Mom, how do you spell 'dear'?" She was spread out on the floor in front of me with her pencil and paper in hand. I was feeding the baby and really didn't want to dictate and talk about which side the stick goes on or why the eraser doesn't work.
"Ella, honey, if you want to write a letter bring me a piece of paper and I'll write it and you can copy it." So, I wrote the letter one handedly. It was sweet. We had a surprise guest this last weekend and she had given him some of her special rocks and he accidentally forgot them. She wanted to send them to him.
The special guest was my dad, Pop. He flew down to celebrate Julia's birthday and we were thrilled to have his company. Especially Ella. She loves him. So she gave him some of her favorite rocks.
She was folding up her letter, retrieving the envelope, just getting her little letter all ready and then she asked where her wallet was. I never know where their things are and I didn't ask what she needed it for when suddenly she was back at my side with the letter in hand. "Write, you each get a dollar." Her curls are crazy lovely falling around her face and I swear her eyes know how to smile. She was enclosing 2 dollars. One for Pop, and one for GramPam. I really could have cried. She's saving for an American Girl Doll (I hope she still digs them when she's 18 because that's how long it will take her) but her last two dollars were lovingly slipped into an envelope with a bunch of rocks.
I saw it. Right then I saw it. I've understood the principle, but I don't think I've seen it as purely as I did just then. My father doesn't need her dollar. I mean, he's the guy that actually puts dollar bills into tip jars at restaurants that don't serve. Pam doesn't need the dollar either. They have what they need and Ella's dollar isn't going to enable them to do more or see more or have more. They are capable of meeting their own needs. They will, however, be humbled at her love offering. That's really what it was...a love offering. It was a, "Hey, I have this and it's the most important thing to me...so I'm giving it to you because I love you more."
The verse that flipped in my mind what, "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands." Acts 17:24. The Lord doesn't need my money. He doesn't need my stuff. Another verse that just came to mind while sitting here was from Isaiah, " I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, 10 for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine. 12 If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it." It's a love offering. It's me as a little girl looking around and saying, "What do I love? That's what I'll give."
I struggle to give over what we have set aside to give. I battle with committing to "pledges" and things of that nature. Ella didn't think twice. It never crossed her mind that she'd be set back a bit. Her face said it all. She was glad to give it, thrilled to give.
Whew, that girl continues to teach me a ton.
Lord, make me a beautiful giver. One who doesn't count the cost, but only the joy there is in giving.