Their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.
A Nigerian neighbor came knocking at our door. He had come a couple of weeks earlier too. At that time he had pleaded for a job that would bring him some needed cash to support his family. The task I gave him was beneficial but not essential. Every morning, with digging tools in hand, he was there, smoothing out some rough places in our yard and making them plain.
But on the morning when he came again, it wasn’t digging tools he had in hand. It was a chicken—a live one! In the Hausa language he said something like, “For you, sir. Thank you for giving me a job to do. I want you to have this chicken.”
I pictured that chicken—one of a tiny flock picking up scraps of food and blades of grass on the compound. I could picture our neighbor telling his son to catch that chicken so that he could bring it to our home. He didn’t have chickens to spare, but there he stood—with a chicken to give to us.
How gracious! How generous! Out of his own meager resources, this brother in Christ generously gave—even beyond his ability. He was like the Macedonians, who embodied the grace of giving. I was humbled by his generosity—and even troubled! Such grace!
Lord, you have richly and graciously blessed us. Please give us a spirit of joy and gladness that gratefully blesses others in our giving. In Christ, Amen.
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