When you make the conscious choice to be generous, you really have no idea what you are doing. You think you are fulfilling an immediate need, and likely that is the case. But generosity has a way of taking on a personality all of its own once it is released by an unsparing person. Most generous people are actually clueless.
Very early one morning well before dawn I was called by one of our police officers to deliver a death notification with him. A man that lived in another city had died, and our responsibility was to notify the deceased individual’s elderly mother. The officer and I were immediately concerned about her welfare due to her age. When we arrived at her home that morning, we were thankful that another family member was also there. It was still a challenging assignment. And of course, we could not help but feel profound compassion for that family once we completed the task and cleared the call.
The officer I was with that morning said: “I have you out of bed now. Would you like to join my partners and me for an early breakfast?” Why is there something comforting about home-style cooking after a tragic event? I said, “yes.” Four of us went to one our trusted local color hangouts for breakfast that morning. The food was good and the company was even better. It’s good to decompress in the company of colleagues and friends after delivering a notification. It is one way that we keep our emotional batteries well-charged, so all of us can serve well in our respective roles.
We got up to pay the bill that morning. The joking ensued as which one of us should bear the financial burden of breakfast. But there was no need… When we walked up to the register, we discovered that an anonymous citizen had paid the bill for all of us. That was a nice way to start the day. There is at least one citizen that likes the police!
That generous citizen had no clue what he or she had just done… That individual thought they were just buying breakfast for three officers and a chaplain that were just starting their day. And that IS a very kind gesture! Our kind benefactor was actually quite clueless. That person has no inkling where we had just been. The altruistic member of our local community had no idea that we had started our day very early by delivering unexpected and overwhelmingly sad news to a family moments before we arrived at the restaurant.
The thoughtful person pulled out their debit card or some cash that morning. And once the card was swiped or the cash was deposited in the register, generosity took on a personality all of its own. A couple of heavy hearts were blessed. And our belief in the basic goodness of people was renewed.
Choose to be generous today. At all costs, avoid stinginess. Just make the commitment to have a giving spirit and allow generosity to take on its own personality. Generosity blesses people. Generosity goes places and does things we may never see. There is potentially no end what generosity can do once it is released. Generosity is a great personality, because it reflects the very character of God. And in such circumstances, being clueless is really not so bad.