In Africa quite often the currency is livestock. Usually a chicken. We have been given a few as gifts and as payments for something. It is given out of the goodness and generosity of the heart…quite often to the financial pinch of a poor family. This last week we have received two. It is humbling to accept them as we realize that a family might go without meat for a few days, or even without income from selling the chicken. What can we do? Is there a way to repay them without them realizing what we are doing? After all, it is a gift…and they love to give.
How much do we give? Do we give the equivalent of a chicken when we want to give a gift to someone? It’s worth a two days wage, quite steep. Do we take from our own family to express gratitude, to someone who we might not even know very well? How can I adjust my heart in this? First of all, in being able to receive without guilt…and then to be able to pass on the blessing? How can I turn into someone who is generous, who at the same time is not expecting to receive? So many of us give with the attitude that “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”!
I need to change my heart to have an “attitude of gratitude”. To see the gifts in the little things. To be quick to express my thanks to people who make a difference. Or even to those that just brighten my day. There needs to be a change in our hearts where we are willing to show our gratitude, even if we feel a bit of a pinch in our own lives sometimes.
We never know how much of an impact we can have on someone. That person receiving from you might just be experiencing a bad day, or having a real need in their lives. Jesus speaks to us in whispers sometimes. When you can hear the pull of your heart going in a certain direction, even if it doesn’t make sense at the time…listen and obey. You will feel the spirit of gratitude in your own life, even if you never see the effect in someone else’s life.
Maybe they need a chicken…