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-The more I gave, the more she took. She didn’t say thank you. She didn’t look me in the eye. She asked and I gave. I gave my time, my energy, my money. For months on end, I invested myself…. but in the face of the ungratefulness I was met with? I retreated and walked away.-

 

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I am a giver through and through. It’s in my DNA. I will gladly give you my food, my belongings, my books, even the shirt off my back {let me put another one on really quick so I’m not naked though!}.

I love to give, to help, to bless.

UNLESS.

And this is the ugly bit.

If my serving, giving, and loving is met with an ungrateful spirit, or I feel taken advantage of? Ooooh Nellie, my fountain of generosity will stop right quick.

And I feel pompous, puffed up, and content when I read the first part of this verse, “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend….”

Yep. That’s me. I’ve got this one covered.

But then I get stuck on these verses, “…expecting nothing in returnfor he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.” Ummmm.

 

-She came and asked for help. Again. I turned away. She brought a Christmas card. I didn’t open it. She cried and called me “Mummy”. And again I walked away. Too interested in the wrong done to me, I left her again.-

 

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It sounds so callous. The walking away, turning a deaf ear. And it is. In the moment, though, and when these moments come again and again and again, it is difficult to stay vulnerable, to stay open, to be wise and generous. To help without hurting, to do the right thing, to love well, is hard.

-She is a mere nineteen. Her father left when she was young, her mother died last year. Looking to fill her love tank, she shared herself with a boy who claimed to love her. In the end, he took what he wanted and left her with two wee ones and no hope.

No one has ever taught her how to love, how to be thankful, how to do anything other than take. For her, love equals pain, so instead, she takes and runs, never looking back.-

Jesus gave, again and again, He gave. Knowing that Judas was going to betray him, he pressed in and gave of himself anyway. Again and again. Welcomed Judas into his inner circle, let him stay with Him, poured into him. It must have been so painful for Jesus to give of Himself day after day, looking into the face of the one he loved, knowing what was going to happen.

-A friend visited her little one room house the other day. The one I helped her rent, helped her set up. When she walked in she saw on the wall, written in soot, “I love my mummy Joy.” 

Tears. Humility. Shame. 

And today? I’m opening up my heart, pressing in to the ungrateful, and beginning again.

Easy? Oh no.

Messy? A hundred times, yes.

Outside myself? Yes and yes again.

And how does this story end? I honestly don’t know…but I’m going to press in and find out. Will you pray for me?-

 

Your turn: What is your story? I want to hear it. What do these verses do in your heart? Share in the comments. I’d love to pray for and with you.

 

Love from Uganda,

 

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