Two Generous Women
Rev. Sudha Mehta©
Photo by Diego Pontes on Pexels.com
James 1: 22 Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves. 23 For anyone who hears the word but does not carry it out is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror, 24 and after observing himself goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom, and continues to do so—not being a forgetful hearer, but an effective doer—he will be blessed in what he does.(BSB)
Let me tell you of two truly rich and generous women:
My dear friend Cena just finished and delivered twenty crocheted scarves to a Ministry where they will be handed out to the poor and needy.
Up until last year Cena was in good health so she would join her teammates at various fairs and festivals to share with whoever would come the story of Christ. At the booth they rented, Cena sat and shared with all that came to hear, both young and old. Some were just curious onlookers, some just wanted the free gifts they gave out, and some responded and received Christ. Each year some would come and relate happily how Christ had changed their lives due to the love shown by this small team.
Each year the number of mockers and scoffers also grew. Cena remained unphased. She only prayed more. She woke up in the wee hours every morning to intercede for others. Her prayer list has remained long even till now.
Cena particularly delighted in the little children who felt drawn to her. They loved hearing the story of Jesus from her just as much as she enjoyed sharing the Good News with them.
Photos from Pexel
Cena has been single all her life, and now in her late seventies, she has not had the joy of being a mother. Ministering to children meant a lot to her. At her home, she has had her pets. Currently little Miss Heidi, a grey rescue kitty keeps her company.
Due to health issues, she is no longer able to give the long hours to the team ministry. Nonetheless, her desire to do for the Lord is unabated. So, she spends hours crocheting scarves for the needy.
No one asked her! My friend has been long retired and living on a fixed income, yet she spends her own money to buy good yarn and gets her hands busy to give to the poor. She enjoys the labor and prays for the strangers who will receive the scarves. With love she puts colors and patterns together, often sending me a picture and asking my opinion . . . this is not mass production for her, this is a gift of God’s love! For the money, time and labor she puts into it, she could go out and buy the scarves . . . but then each stitch wouldn’t have the loving prayer attached to it! She packs each scarf with care attaching Christian notes of God’s love.
Photo from Lucena and Pexel
I have another friend named Susie. We met decades ago. For many years Suzie had but one desire . . . to help the helpless! She didn’t want something to fill her time, she wanted to GIVE her time to the needy, which in her case were the elderly. She found work in the field of eldercare which gave her some much needed income as well.
The work is hard, sometimes Susie works seven days a week and puts in long hours. There are job assignments that require her to spend night caring for the special needs patients, but she doesn’t mind.
At home, her little pup Miss Bella waits patiently.
Recently we visited, and I asked her if she would consider working at a job that would be more money and less hard labor.
“But I love doing what I do, Sudha!”
“Haven’t you done it long enough? You need more income, and your body can’t hold out forever. You need to think of your own retirement. Take a job that doesn’t require heavy lifting.”
She promised she would think about it . . . she did . . . and decided “NO!”
Cena and Suzie remain generous toward all. They support many Ministries around the World and over the years have never shied away from helping.
What fascinates me is that both these women spent decades of their lives in extreme oppression and persecution. They have known well the company of grief and sorrows.
Suzie had a husband and sons, but things happened. One son died in an accident leaving her heart crushed to smithereens! As if that were not enough she was disowned by her husband and her remaining son for her faith. She has known loss and persecution well!
Abuse, rejection, heartbreak have been part and parcel of Cena and Suzie’s lives in the past. Yet . . . I have not found a more tender spirit than these. They are not pushovers, I see a strength in them that is rare. These women didn’t get mired down in crippling self-pity and bitterness of soul, rather they wiped their tears and chose the joy of doing for others and wiping off tears of the poor and hurting.
Cena and Suzie laugh plenty, they get me to laugh as well. Life has not been kind to them, but our God has surely been. They are favored in His courts and they know it well. I often say their mansions in heaven will be far bigger than mine, for they have overcome much adversity with grace and without losing the joy of the Lord. In them He is well pleased . . . of that I am sure!
Proverbs 15: 13 A joyful heart makes a cheerful countenance, but sorrow of the heart crushes the spirit.(BSB)
Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.(BSB)
Sometimes when I saw patients who were deep in depression, I would require them to go volunteer in places where they would likely see people who were suffering far more. Those that listened gained perspective and actually got better. Yet there were those who liked their misery far too much to give it up.
I know other men and women that have understood how to love sacrificially. People that have put aside malice, selfishness and not allowed anger, bitterness, hatred to take control of their lives.
You see, friend . . . you don’t have to be chained to the past! Whatever may have been done to you in the past doesn’t have to bind and control you in the present. Love . . . Jesus love sets you free. Living free in forgiveness is a choice you can make. You can put away the old and put on the new!
2 Corinthians 5: 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come!(BSB)
Matthew 6: 14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. (BSB)
Think about this, it is a sobering thought.
Colossians 3:8 But now you must put aside all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices, 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.(BSB)
When the abusive past holds you in it’s grip, even though the abuser may die, the grip remains . . . it remains in the form of unforgiveness, fear, anger, depression, anxiety, hatred, bitterness, envy, jealousy a sharp tongue, and the like. These things leave you crippled and unable to move on. You become a slave to emotions that only bring more pain. You may not want to talk about the hurt and the pain, it may be your secret, but unresolved pain will always eat you inside whether spoken or not!
As a Counselor . . . I like the idea of getting sound counsel if you need help. Talking with a safe person helps . . . I say this for in many parts of the World Counselors are not easy to find. In times past parents and senior family members served as advice givers, and while that may be the case in some cultures, that has changed for vast populations in the World today. So, wherever you may be, whatever your circumstance, if you can find a safe person, you are blessed.
Here are some qualities which you should look for in a safe person:
A safe person is one you can trust completely.
A safe person will not turn around and gossip about you.
A safe person will not judge you.
A safe person will not get angry or get into blame placing.
A safe person is one who can be a sounding board to you.
A safe person will not give glib answers or try to push unwanted advice on you.
A safe person will NEVER cross appropriate boundaries. Generally speaking, unless it is a professional counselor/pastor/psychologist/doctor it is better to find a safe person of your own gender.
A safe person will listen, be caring and speak life-giving words to you.
Hopefully, you will find wise counsel from a safe person. These characteristics are universal in a safe person, regardless of nation, culture, gender, even religion.
A safe confidante can be an immense help in the healing process. Perchance you have no one, my friend even then you are not alone. You can have Jesus. I know, for I was such a one myself. I had no choice but to learn through hardship that the only One I could go to was Jesus. It was hard, but He was and is the only One that no one can keep away from you or me. Even prison bars can’t keep Him out. I know I have NEVER been disappointed or left alone by Him . . . I can promise you He is true to His Word for He cannot lie. He said:
Hebrews 13: 5b “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”(BSB)
You just have to learn to trust, and He can help even with that. I know . . . He helped me!
What have you got to lose??!!
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