I love Shakespeare for his ability to relate life circumstances through such beautiful verse. Often times he’s stating the obvious, like in the famous verse from Romeo and Juliet. Juliet asks, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” It’s so beautifully written but so very plain in meaning. Which is how I want my posts to come across, beautifully written but plain in meaning.
As I stated in previous posts, I grew up poor. My dad had chosen to follow God’s calling and become a Pastor. The clergy do not make much money unless they are apart of those huge, televised congregations… So yeah, the whole family was dealt the “I’m Poor” card because a servant of the Lord doesn’t receive a large salary. We had to stick together in order to get through that deal.
The amazing thing is I never felt poor, I never felt like a poverty stricken child. Even when we were living in a tent in my grandparent’s yard (My mom burned our house down. Hahaha, had to Momma), getting food from the food-bank, receiving hand-me-downs from our financially better-off friends and family, or getting Christmas presents from strangers who picked our name off the tree at a local church. Why didn’t this affect me you ask? Well, because love holds it’s weight in gold. The love freely given by our family and friends, by our church and community but mostly because of the ever-present love in our home, made me feel so very rich.
Love was so abundant in our home that it created its own force, like the pull of gravity. Our home became the “local hangout” for all our childhood friends. It was the place to be even though we had very little to offer in the form of luxuries, or even food. It was a magnet to children and teens, everyone felt the love inside and that’s all they were coming for.
Twice we were blessed with amazingly timed cash gifts. Still to this day we have no clue who left the wads in our mailbox, but we are eternally grateful to the person or family. If they happen to read this blog, thank you so much for your unconditional giving. I hope you were blessed as immensely as we were by your blind faith.
We as a family have several people to thank for the aid they gave us time after time. For the money, food, gas, shoes, clothes and the occasional awesome hand-me-down video game console (thanks cousins)! All of this giving translated to love. By being surrounded by people who unconditionally loved me and my family, I was able to be poor and content. I indeed felt more rich than anyone I knew.
We may not have had a penny to offer anyone, but our family always had an open heart, an open house, and a willingness to serve those in need however we could. So when things get tough financially and you feel you can not get through it, hold to hope and hold to those who love you. If you allow yourself to focus on love and not possessions, I can guarantee you will feel rich as well. Have faith that God will provide what you need but do not sit idling waiting for provisions to be delivered via FedEx. You must be proactive as well. You must give to those around you in whatever form you have to offer. Whether it be by donating your time, your skills, or simply offering up some unconditional love. God will bless you as you bless others, it’s just how he works.