By Jenny Dendinger
I stared at my phone confused. The message was from a friend offering us free food provided by one of our chapel members.
The text read, “Call him. It’s not charity. Don’t worry.”
But it was charity. It was absolutely charity.
Over the past year, our finances have been tight. Despite our desire to be independent, God has allowed us to endure some hardships that taught us how to graciously accept charity from others.
Sometimes, it came in the form of an unexpected card with cash inside. Other times, we were blessed with a cooked meal. Most recently, someone filled our freezer with freshly slaughtered chickens from their farm.
Merriam-Webster defines charity as “generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering.”
These acts of kindness were extended to us by someone doing God’s work. They saw a need and offered charity to our family using the blessings God had given them. Sometimes, we were even given enough to share with another family in need!
What if that family had turned us away because they refused to accept charity? By clinging to their pride, we would have all been robbed of the graces received when we share in God’s blessings.
Obviously, no one enjoys being needy, but why is charity so taboo?
Hardship and suffering are part of life. Can we stop trying to pretend like we always have it all together? Instead, let’s normalize bearing difficulties as a family of Christians that lift each other up when necessary.
Christ calls us to embrace the vulnerable and extend kindness and generosity to those in need. If you can offer charity to someone struggling, do so. If you find yourself in need, accept the help.
Charity is a work of mercy and a gift from God. Embrace it!
“So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all, but especially to those who belong to the family of the faith.” Galatians 6:10