In a recent Globe and Mail article, the former Governor General of Canada, David Johnson, writes about how acts of giving can help us overcome the pandemic blues:
“Whether time, treasure, or talent, each one of us can experience the uplifting effect of giving. It is the antidote to loneliness, the cure to feelings of isolation and the remedy for the pandemic blues. In giving, we encounter a great unburdening of the self, a respite from the pressures of self-centred thinking. We turn our efforts outward and are rewarded with feelings of hope, connectedness and warmth. It is truly a one-of-a-kind tonic for the soul.”
– Right Honourable David Johnson, Globe and Mail, published May 5, 2020
He encourages everyone to support a favourite charity, to help a neighbor, lend a helping hand, share a kind word or be generous of spirit – in order to find hope.
Although we are all created in the image of a generous God, many people still struggle with giving. In our fallen state, we are all hardwired for self-preservation; hoarding our resources because we are afraid that we may not have enough in our time of need. Giving is hard (if not impossible) when you are afraid.
This type of sacrificial generous hope is not merely unnatural, it is supernatural. It is the result of God’s generous grace towards us and a power acting in our lives to accomplish what we could never do with our own strength. It is the hope that comes with the promise of eternal life. Our generosity is both the response to and the result of this hope.
In AD 249 to 262 the early church lived through a deadly pandemic where in Rome an estimated 5,000 people a day died because of it. As all others fled, and at great risk of persecution and infection, Christians came out of hiding to tend to the sick, care for the dying and bury the dead – not just their own, but of those persecuting them.
Because of their hope, they could sacrificially give their time, their resources, their love, their care and their very lives.
Because of their generosity, others found hope. And life. And God.
Living generously loosens the grip fear has on our hearts. When we are not afraid, we can be generous with grace. Be generous with love. And be generous with Hope.
Generosity is an act of hope.
Generosity + Stewardship Director