How you can give of your gifts
By Michelle Hernandez
Paying it forward has been a popular phrase for a decade or more, but it is not a new concept. Jesus said, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” (Luke 12:48 NABRE) What does this mean, really? And what kind of payment or requirement are we talking about?
In my Christian tradition, we talk about stewardship and giving of your time, talent and treasure. In scripture we read about the widow who gave only a very small amount, but compared to the others, she gave more because she did not have excess to give. What do you feel called to give, and in what way? In the example of the widow, we see that everyone has something to give.
Some of us contribute with time and talents, from helping with mailings or phone calls to gardening or laundering to participating in liturgy or leading a ministry at our church. In what ways is God tugging on your heart to give? Sometimes it can be as small as seeing a struggling family in a parking lot and knowing you have $20 in your wallet you could give them. That $20 has much greater value in their hands.
What about our life experiences? These can be rich with wisdom and compassion and other gifts we can wrap up and share with others. When I moved “home” to Lafayette after my divorce, I was looking for a divorce support group at my church, but there was none. Fast forward to today, and I have now led (and now also train others to lead) both Catholic and Protestant divorce recovery programs. Through my ministry and “paying it forward,” many lives have been healed and touched in positive ways, and wonderful bonds formed between people on similar journeys. One life touched is mine, for it is indeed that in giving we receive. What are you feeling called to give? What has God entrusted you with?
Michelle Hernandez is a parishioner at Our Lady of Wisdom Church and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice in Lafayette, LA.