Have often said that Miss Agnes Carter, my 8th grade teacher at Vernon Grade School in Portland, Oregon, was my best teacher, to know the difference of doing well and doing good, and 1,000 other ways to word the thoughts.
If I stop there, I am fully remiss. Read this linked story this morning on MSN.Com and immediately went—didn’t drift but zoomed—to Doug Meeks, my professor at Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves, Missouri for my doctoral program. He is terrific, an ethicist, but so much more important in teaching how life’s values center not upon getting as much as you can [Might call it the Prosperity Gospel] that is hoarding, building a bigger barn. No, not for a breath. Rather, life’s values center upon generosity, upon giving. Doug put it succinctly, “The more you give, the more you grow.”
That’s not about how much you have or accumulate as it is about relationships. Doug planted seeds of living in me that continue to grow. Seldom need trimming. Have shared this before, if I can help someone be better in their self, I hardly ever hesitate.
An example. Over the years—yeah more than 50—I’ve met hospital receptionists, getting room numbers and the like. They are nice and clear. No problem. Then, I met Sherry. Sherry is the receptionist at Cornerstone Hospital where Jason has been healing. She has a fabulous personality, a great genuine smile. I think her middle name should be hyphenated: kind-caring. She is a spark. When I walk into the lobby she doesn’t hesitate her smile, “Howdy Rowdy!” Love it. It is less than rare anyone can come to Cornerstone Hospital and not feel the lift and encouragement of Sherry.
How about you? Can you name the “Sherry’s” in your life? How many can name you—which is more important in my lexicon—as their “Sherry”? For that’s what I believe—with fervency—to be generous, to be giving is more than growing. It brings vitality to the human journey…such a preference against holding an assault rifle. Yes?