I would like to further elaborate on this.
A month ago, a family friend had ordered one dozen of the bracelets we are selling for our adoption fundraiser and overpaid as a contribution to our expenses. This just stunned me, I cried.... I was amazed, I was thankful and so appreciative in a way that I could hardly express. It just meant so much that she would do this. It was so much more than donation of money - it was an affirmation that she supported us, and was fully behind us. It still makes me emotional that someone would go out of their way like this to help us. We have few people who really support us to this degree... so in more ways than one, this truly was such a huge gift!
Because we will be taking 12 suitcases on our journey, I had posted on Facebook that we were looking for used suitcases. The same family friend contacted me and told me of her plans to buy the kids their very own suitcases... I think I stammered and explained that it really wasn't necessary... I would find some used, free ones in the community. She insisted, and 3 days later these beauties arrived and the kids were so darn excited!
In chatting with her later that night... I struggled to really find the words that possessed the gratitude that I was feeling. A word came to mind... 'Angel', and then I realized how this felt to be on the other side of giving. She said to me... "You know what, this is something I would like to have done. I may not be able to do it now, but at least I can help you do it..." Later on she said that this made her heart glow.... and then I realized that this was doing her just as much good as it was us. Giving is a gift.
"The power of giving comes from a selfless act - where you simply give from your heart. This act of giving is not tied to any special event, holiday or celebration - it is merely a time when you give from the heart because you want to share what you have, show your appreciation and you give because you truly care. There should not be any other motive behind it. You don't give so that you can get something in return. You give because you want to. "
While it may be defined this way, there is also a selfish component. There is no better feeling in the world than giving and helping. It makes us feel good. I think it is God's drug of choice... it is a good 'high'. We aren't on this journey solely to help others, we are on this journey to help others because it nourishes our souls.
This morning I read a blog post about an amazing family who went to a waffle house and had their bill paid for by the sweet waitress that served them. What happened here is this woman took notice of this wonderful family who has done so much good in the world. Check out her blog - and you'll figure it out pretty quickly. This waitress was likely awe inspired. Did she have the means to do what this family did? Perhaps not... but what she could do in that moment, was to give to them, and support them in a small way in their journey. She closed her post with a final sentence saying that she was going to buy one waffle from her for $30 to repay her. I hope she doesn't.
By graciously sucking up our pride, and allowing others the freedom to help and support us... is allowing them to receive the gift of giving... nourishing their souls. To repay her for this meal would essentially be taking that gift away. The only way to 're-pay' this is to pass it on to the next person and allow one of life's most beautiful gifts to ripple across the globe.
*Follow up. I wrote this post prior to the sequel of Waffle house story. The waitress received her gift back in ten-fold - in a completely different way. Head over and read it for a feel good story!!