We enjoyed spending last week at our friends' vacation home in the Northern Neck of Virginia. My brother, sister and their families joined us. Andrew became a proficient driveway scooter-er, and blueberry picker, Margaret caught her first fish (and threw it back!), and we basked in the generosity of our friends opening their home to us yet again.
As you may remember, this was the first place we vacationed after Jack's death, when we couldn't bear doing our usual beach trip without him. It's also where I started writing Rare Bird on a cold winter's day, and experienced the radical generosity of a local tow truck driver.
If you don't remember that story, please read it here! It continues to inspire me, and convict me, years later.
I want to be generous, too.
But what if I don't have a beautiful vacation home to share, or a powder blue Volkswagen to lend to a complete stranger? How can I be generous to others, especially when it doesn't come naturally to me?
What about showing a generosity of spirit?
Our world seems so angry and ugly right now. Lots of yelling. Name calling. Divisive, dehumanizing language. Unfiltered thoughts coming out in ALL CAPS. It's almost too depressing to write about, so it quiets my voice sometimes, when I want to speak up, when I need to speak up. It's easy to feel helpless in a world that seems topsy turvy.
The phrase generosity of spirit made me think of the fruits of the spirit in the Bible. I think they are a very good measure to hold up against our leaders, our policies, and ourselves:
But the fruit of the spirit is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.