Strict//EN" ""> EAGLES' REST: January 2016

Friday, January 15, 2016

Jeremy and the Joy of Giving

For some time now, I've been painting pictures on plywood. I did several in the "Winnie the Pooh" theme for Mac's nursery, followed by a couple for son brad. Those included a Ferrari F40.

Then there was the Disney Singers I made ... all 4' by 5' of them ... for Brian's front yard Christmas decorations. Plus a mini group of Pooh characters for our spare bedroom, above Mac's likely napping spot.

Painting Brad's Ferrari F40 gave me the itch to make one for myself. Now the first Ferrari in my memory is the 166 Barchetta, made in the early 1950's. In fact, it's also the first real live one I saw in person (and touched) , in 1957. It happened to be parked at a bar on 16th Street in Indianapolis the night before the 1957 Indy 500, and was owned by a well-known race driver. According to a little brass plaque on the dashboard.

So, I went out and got a 2' X 4' piece of plywood and proceeded to paint it. when a friend in another state saw it, she said her son would  love it. So I packed it up and sent it to him.

I told her, when she showed me this picture, that it was plenty of payment for painting the picture.

Any kid that likes Ferraris is fine in my book, and his smile just says soooo much..

Then a couple of weeks later, I got a letter from Jeremy. And his mom said it was his idea to write it, and what to say, etc. etc. and not hers.

Here's his letter, which I am going to frame:

Now. we're all familiar with what the church refers to the joy of giving". But tossing dollars into a giant pot from which others are helped doesn't particularly bring gladness to the giver, or maybe it was just me. But nonetheless, I think we need to correlate our giving directly with the joy it brings others, particularly in the church's preaching and teaching. And that goes beyond just having one of our own folks tell us how good it was that we gave.

A couple of simple examples from our own lives. After our first Mission Trip to Haiti in 1970, we agreed to support a Bible Student by the name of Vitellius Jacque, for his remaining 2 years of study.

Big deal. It was $5.00 per month. 

Five bucks!

We went back in 1974, and the field director there stopped the bus at L'ory and pointed out a local church to us and said "That's Vite's church!" The $5 suddenly got really real. 

And joyous.

We supported a couple folks in Russia, after my second mission trip there. And still today we're Facebook friends with them, even though the amount was inconsequential to us.

I said all that not to get props from anyone; God's given us all the joy and comfort and assurance we could have ever asked for. And more. But I relate those things to show the value of focusing not on what we give, or the joy we're supposed to receive, but rather on the joy we bring to others via our giving. 

Jeremy's mom brought a ton of joy, to a lot of people, through her personal ministry, where they formerly lived. From what she's said, maybe a Ferrari 166 Barchetta painted on 1/4" plywood returned the favor, via her son.

Jeremy, he of the happy smile.