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Generosity November 6, 2008

Posted by markgeil in Family.
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I eyed the bag of candy, a smaller Halloween haul than usual. We had a party, so we only went to a few neighbors’ houses before returning to our own. Still the neighbors were generous, and I surveyed Rebekah’s bag, a resplendent landscape of delicious treats. I didn’t want to take anything too special, since this was my seven-year-old’s candy after all, but I must admit I had visions of Snickers and Reese’s dancing in my head. I asked Bek if I could have a piece of candy, and she gave her prompt and cheerful consent. Then I asked if there was anything special that I should leave for her. She came over and gazed into the bag alongside me at the little Milky Ways and M&Ms even a full size Baby Ruth bar. After a few minutes of deliberation, she declared, “You can have the Bit-O-Honey.”

My wife laughed out loud, and Rebekah looked up, puzzled. “What is a Bit-O-Honey, anyway?”

“Well, it’s a kind of chewy little… thing.”

“Oh,” replied Rebekah, reaching into the bag. “Then I guess you can have this.” She held up one of those oddly misshapen brownish chewy… things, the ones that are wrapped in dark orange paper. “Whatever it is.”

Ah, the strange and typically undesirable candies that surface every October, relegated to the bottom of the candy pile, solidifying week after week while the good stuff is eaten. For her part, Rebekah didn’t seem like she was intending to be selfish. Maybe she thought the Bit-O-Honey was the best of the bunch. You probably have a weird friend who would agree. And who can blame a kid for wanting to keep the best of the haul for herself on the very night she’s gotten all this candy.

Still, the episode was a little reminder to me of how often I say to God, “I’m going to keep the good stuff to myself for a while. You can have the Bit-O-Honey.” This week, I’m trying to practice extravagant generosity, in word and deed, for a God who defined unselfishness.

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