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Tithing is not a miracle cure.  We do not suddenly have whole hearts like God's when we learn to tithe.  But when God performs this shunt and allows a free flow from our heart then our whole being pinks up and the possibilities for new life and growth abound.


Weekly Reflection: Pastor Dana Reardon
March 7, 2005

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Tithing provides a flow of generosity

 

I saw a movie recently about the first heart surgery on a “blue baby” – one who is not getting enough oxygen.  The baby was born with multiple defects of the heart called Tetra logy of Fallot.  With this, the biggest problem is a constriction of the artery that feeds blood to the lungs.  The surgery did not correct the constriction; rather it shunted blood from another artery to increase the flow of blood to the lungs.

 

When the procedure was done the baby began to turn pink.  It was remarkable to see -- even in a movie.  In my years in pediatric nursing I have seen babies go from blue to pink.  Without the surgery these babies are stunted and do not grow right.  And eventually they die.  The surgery offered new growth and new life.

 

I wrote last week about a woman who had learned about tithing.  I think this baby and this surgery serve as a good metaphor for the transformation that takes place when a person really learns to give.

 

It is a constriction of the vessels leading from the heart that makes it hard for us to give.  Sometimes it takes a shunt to bypass the constriction and enable what we have been given to flow more freely from our hearts.

 

Tithing is not a miracle cure.  We do not suddenly have whole hearts like God's when we learn to tithe.  But when God performs this shunt and allows a free flow from our heart then our whole being pinks up and the possibilities for new life and growth abound.

 

People often ask me why 10 percent?  It can be said to be biblical, but I have heard arguments for as much as thirty percent to be biblical.  I think 10 percent because it is sufficient flow to bypass the constriction and generate enough flow to breathe new life into one that is stunted.

 

In my years in nursing I saw babies go from blue to pink and knew that the beginning of new life was present.  In my years as a pastor I have seen people begin to tithe.  I have seen incredible changes in their lives as they grow and become the whole generous people that God created them to be.  I knew that new life was beginning there too.

 

Lord, We pray that all of our hearts may be opened and your blessings flow freely through them and from them as abundantly as they have come from you.  Amen

 

 

 Copyright (c) 2004, The Rev. Dana Reardon. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Email her at mspastor@aol.com.
 

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 ˝ 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. She has three amazing daughters: Pastor Reardon says much of what she knows of life she learned from them.