One after another they came.
The men knocked on our door and asked for a drink of water. Nothing more. Just a drink of water. Dad would settle them under the shade tree and bring them a drink, a plate of food, and a few dollars.
Our home was in a modest strip of houses across the street from the railroad yard. The travelers never approached any of the other houses on our street. They came so frequently to ours that we believed our home had somehow been marked as a safe place to rest and refresh.
When railroad security tightened, the men did not stop coming. The weary travelers showed up in old trucks and asked if there was work instead of water. It was a different kind of sameness. A continuing theme.
As with the other travelers, Daddy gave these a drink, leftovers, and a few dollars, too. While they ate, he pointed them to where they might find an odd job. This strange activity continued even after he retired—and with my mom two states away. Man after man found Daddy. Helping travelers was Daddy’s gift, and that was how he used his generosity to refresh others.
My father lived a consistent lifestyle of intentional, open-handed generosity. He wanted to bless and to be blessed by his Creator. I watched Daddy fill his mornings with Bible study and his afternoons with naps for the long, hard evening's work ahead. He never went a day without opening God's Word or using his hands to repair something. He had learned to be content in whatever circumstance he found himself. Moreover, he wished the same for others.
I have spent a lifetime watching consistent Christian kindness, but it took me years to understand that Daddy’s was an existence of great contentment based on this strong biblical truth.
Why not release your grip and live open-handedly? Then watch what God will do.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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