“Generosity can buy happiness” Founder of a micro-lending movement
Don’t believe it?
Try it, and it’ll prove itself all over you, like a garment of your favorite color, exquisitely tailored to your favorite body part. (Yes, yes, that one, too) Only this runs far out above the body. Money, sure, is the stuff of the generous. But the spirit kind doesn’t wear Ben Franklin’s picture. It bears yours, and it buys many more miracles. A flirtation with the simplest kindness, a sense of peace in the eyes – these buy for us the ageless style of being fully alive. Mattering. But even more than these, a truly radical fashioning of love changes the world. Radical love sets people to smiling, my despairing, when they turn from our graves.
And the following quote bears this out. It comes from a man who received a transformational brand of love from the micro lending movement.
“I am practicing on being better than I was.” Anonymous prisoner in a class to unlearn the practice of violence.
It is not for us to ask the why or the timing of things, but to participate in the what. Real faith is daring to do what we’re wired in the brain not to dig doing – change ourselves, our circumstances, into greater beings. Like changing torn clothes, shedding garments that are tattered, our old fears and complacency and that sense of “I don’t wanna” have to go. These garments harbor our warmth, our scent, and even when they turn foul, we don’t want to strip ourselves of them. These garments give a certain twisted comforts, like bunching underwear, and we wear them even as they begin to feel like pants full of nails and Steve Martin’s cruel shoes. We too often don’t want to dare go naked a moment, letting Divinity robe us in what we’re truly called to as our spirit style. I’m a boy of the 70’s. But, I don’t wear my Wedgewood-blue leisure suit with the psycho shirt and the red socks anymore. (Ladies, I know what you’re thinking, and I smile all over it). I grew out of those, and the Partridge Family hair. The times grew me into a different time. A time of daring to be generous with the full harvest. A time to practice on being better than I was. If I am truly, madly, daring to give of myself, radically, to Divine generosity, instead of my tattered status quo, I matter more.
I am better than I was. Thank God Almighty, I am better than that leisure suit and the boy in it. By the graceful garment of Divine love, I’ll be better still tomorrow. My soul will be a tad more in fashion with the true needs I find.
“If you have forgiven yourself for being imperfect and falling, you can do it for just about everyone else.”
Father Richard Rohr said this in his fine book, Falling Upward. The book is all about the necessity of the bruising falls we take to bounce us up into the finery we’re called, after all, to wear. He says this, too: “As the body cannot live without food, the soul cannot live without meaning.”
So, let us dare change into our deepest meaning. In doing this, we finally grow into the garments of our inner child — that romping, playful, extravagantly generous little boy or girl we keep stifled under the old clothes.
So, here, now, a champagne toast — raise that spiritual Kool-Aid — to standing naked a moment. Naked, in waiting. See what God wants us to wear for the rest of our lives. Put on that garment, then check the pockets. I’ll promise, in there you’ll find abundance of everything needful, enough for you, and the needful along your way.
A pocket full of generous daring buys our passage to life. It’ll take us a mighty long way! And for the trip, may I add, I’m diggin’ that outfit.