“Be modest about your good deeds. You don’t need to flaunt it to others.”
“God loves a cheerful giver.”
Words to live by. Bible-believing or not. Religious, spiritual, or none-of-the-above, the basic principal of giving cheerfully and not flaunting our good deeds is applicable to living a good and moral life.
I say that, to say this…. in almost complete anonymity.
In the spring of 2012 I unexpectedly received some money from a surprising source. Not a lot of money. But money just the same. I didn’t know what to do with the money, so I tucked it away in an envelope. Not long after a coworker was burglarized. In the aftermath she wanted to put a security door on her apartment. The complex where she lived wouldn’t pay for it and she didn’t know where the money would come from. I knew where the money would come from. The day I gave her the money we both cried.
A couple of months ago a coworker approached me and asked to borrow money. I loaned it, cheerfully. Well, sort of. At the time, I was preparing to go out of town for a job interview. I had to buy a train ticket and a hotel room. Money was tight! Who am I kidding, money is always tight! But still, I reached in my purse and gave him what he asked for, knowing it would put me in a bind. In the end, a way was provided. I found just the right amount of cash I had stashed away, hidden from myself. Hidden so well, even I had forgotten about it!
After the fact though, I really began to resent that coworker for asking me to borrow money! Why me? Why the single mom with three kids who’s barely making ends meet anyway? Why not ask one of the single guys you work with? I’m the least likely person in the building to have extra cash lying around! It has really hurt my relationship with this person. Which is sad, because we were pretty good friends. I find myself ducking and dodging this person, so as not to find myself alone with him, possibly being asked for another loan.
Which brings me to now. I’m getting ready to make the BIG move! And while the company will pay for part of my moving expenses, it doesn’t cover everything. And worse, it doesn’t cover anything up front. Again, single mom, no piles of cash laying around! So far, every obstacle I had expected to encounter with this move has been overcome! Finding an affordable place to live: check! Getting permission to take teenage daughter out of state: check! Finding a way to move that would not be more than company would cover: check! Then whammy! Have to come up with the money up front.
One of the things about this move I was MOST looking forward to was doing it on my own! Not needing help, from anyone! Asking to borrow money from family is out of the question! In fact, the first thing my dad said to me when I told him I’d been offered the job, “I’ll help any way I can, just don’t ask me for money.” Translated, leave him out of it…. He thinks I’m making a big mistake… But then again, my family is selfish and every time I have ever tried to stray too far from home it’s a “bad idea.” I’m sure they are loving the fact that I cannot afford to take this job!
My beloved director, God bless him… Said to me, “I will fight for your success.”
No one… And I do mean NO ONE has ever fought for my success, other than me. People have fought to make sure I did not succeed! But never to make sure I did! I wonder what that looks like. I fear I’ll end up being a huge disappointment!
– J. Ela