Acts of generosity, tests of faith
Pastors can tell the
season by the nature of the calls. Fortunately there have been no
broken hips this winter although that is a common one. This winter
it is about heat bills. And it is not just strangers. Even
parishioners run short of oil and need help till payday.
Who do you say yes to when
the money is running low? I know I will say yes to a mom with three
little kids. At one point she was homeless and I remember how
excited she was to find this wonderful spacious apartment. In the
summer it was spacious. Now it is a barn to heat. It took three
jobs to break even in it in the summer.
When I give her the check,
the response is, "Thank God." It occurs to me that what we are
doing in all parts of the ministry is faith formation. Some days we
are the face of Christ for people who have no reason other than
faith to hope that any help will come. When we at this little way
station on the way to the cross offer heat or food, we offer more.
We offer hope and a renewal of faith.
What will I do when the
money I have to offer runs out? It will be time for my faith to be
tested and others in our community to renew my faith with the
generosity that has helped keep it going since I got here.
Every act of generosity is
a gift from God and an act of faith. Without God we are selfish and
need to look out for ourselves. With the knowledge of God comes the
assurance that we will be cared for and the desire to share that
Have you shared your faith
You have so richly
provided for me this day, may I share what you have given and be
truly thankful in the doing.
2004, The Rev. Dana Reardon. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Email her at
The Rev. Dana Reardon is pastor at St.
Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Warwick, RI. A lifelong Lutheran, she
came to ordained ministry after 21 years in nursing, mostly in pediatric
intensive care. She graduated from Lutheran Theological Seminary at
Philadelphia in 1998 and served 4 ½ years in Upstate New York before
becoming a New Englander. She is still trying to understand the
accent. While in the Upstate New York Synod she chaired the Stewardship
Team. That began her fascination with what makes stewards -- and more,
what makes for generosity.
has three amazing daughters: Pastor Reardon says much of what she knows of
life she learned from them.