I recently walked into a Moravian Church in Pennsylvania and saw a table covered with brightly colored knit caps. It was June, so I assumed they weren't meant for people to use to keep their heads warm. I quickly learned they were "chemo caps" knit by a group of women in the congregation who then take them to patients who are hospitalized at the local cancer center. Behind the table was a bulletin board covered in thank-you cards from people who had received a cap; one of the cards read, "This week has been the worst week of my life. Receiving a chemo cap from your church reminded me that there are strangers who care. Who want to help people who are hurting. Thank you for being who Jesus wants us to be."
1 Timothy 6, verse 18 tells us we are "to do good, to be rich in good works, generous and ready to share". I imagine if I could walk into every Moravian church (or any church, temple, synagogue or holy place) in the world, I'd find a table of something that represents how people of faith are using their gifts to make life better for their neighbors...who are answering Christ's call to love and serve one another.
Chances are the chemo caps won't make the headlines tonight...they won't be tweeted and retweeted until they go viral....they won't have an impact on the bottom line or anyone's net worth or adjusted gross income. But they matter so much more than those things and deserve every bit of attention that we give to the latest celebrity scandal, political unrest, or stock market gain.
Ever since seeing that table, I've been thinking about the gifts God has given me and how I use them. Am I doing good and being rich in good works? Am I generous and ready to share? I'm not a knitter, so I won't be making chemo caps any time soon, but I have been abundantly blessed with gifts I can use to help spread a little more light and love in our world.
In his book Letters to My Son: A Father’s Wisdom on Manhood, Women, Life and Love, Kent Nerburn wrote, “Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children of chance, and none can say why some fields will blossom and others lay brown beneath the August sun. Care for those around you. Look past your differences. Their dreams are no less than yours, their choices in life no more easily made. And give. Give in any way you can, of whatever you possess. To give is to love. To withhold is to wither. Care less for your harvest than how it is shared, and your life will have meaning and your heart will have peace.”
May we all be open to giving in any way we can.