In any community there must be some people inspired by God to give. If one really knows that God gives him to give, he will not be afraid of anyone because he does not give out of pride. He gives because he knows that it is in giving that he receives. That he is inspired to give. A giver has that gift from God. He does not look at people when he gives. A giver is a source of joy and happiness to the community. He does not give because he is the richest in the community. God uses him to bring out others to give; others that are locked by fear that others may do something to tap his destiny. This is fetish unless your source is not from God. When the good God uses you to give and wipe away people’s tears, there is no limit to your growing richer and richer. The widow of Zarephath in 1 Kings 17:8-15 is a typical example of a person who gave without fear of giving all she has to feed a prophet of God. We often talk of widow’s mite which many people have abused the substance of the truth. You have to be moved with faith and trust that God will supply all your needs.
You have to believe that God who gives you that gift of giving will always surprise you. You have to re-culture thinking for God to open the windows of heaven for more blessings for you. Trust in God who gave you that gift. This gift will not be taken away from you, God knows you before he gave it to you. He knows how you will use it. He wants you to be a useful instrument of alleviating sufferings and misery from people. He wants you to be a special ambassador for him. Unfortunately, many are paralyzed to give because their names will be mentioned. Don’t forget that by mentioning your name, people will pray for you. We also know that once your name is mentioned a flood of people will invade you. It is natural but God knows how to use you to tell them that you don’t give because you are “Caritas Lagos”. You teach them the secret of your giving. You can teach them that they don’t need to have money before they give. They can give themselves to service in the church. They can sweep the church. They can pray for those who give.
The story of a man who gave us money to complete the payment of our generator in one of my former parishes is an illuminating story that can move us to give. When we were appealing to people to donate, some people would take microphone and speak for 10minutes and give little. A man in the congregation beckoned and asked me how much remained to complete the amount? I told him N800,000. He said he would pay it. You need to hear the noise made in the church when I announced the amount. I remembered Oliver De-Coque who said that “Ana enwe obodo enwe” which means that there are people who own the city. The giver of that amount has a first wife who never had a child for him. As an Igbo man he remembered the saying “Ahamefula”, which means “let my name not be forgotten” because he didn’t have a child. He then married another wife. It did not take long, after giving that huge amount; the first wife got him a child, then another. I boldly asked him, what are you going to do with the second wife? He said, he would keep her too.
Ever since the man gave the money, he has been blessed by God but many people from different societies would often beseech him for help, he would be called to the high table at different functions. This made him to relocate to another parish where people would not know or notice him. Are you like this man? Does God not know why he made you to be so? Don’t stop giving! Do not create obstacle for yourself! That is the way you are made, you can’t change the spirit of giving in you. This God is a God of surprise. He cannot fail us. Don’t hide. If you don’t give in a big way, give according to your capacity. There is one thing we do not know. We cannot be blessed by God and yet give like the poor.
• Very Rev. Msgr. Livinus Ukah is a Catholic Priest, author of many books and a Social Justice and Peace Advocate.