by Barbara Berry-Bailey
There was a man who was poor his entire childhood. As a young man, he studied and worked hard to achieve the things he never had as a boy. In time, he had all that he always wanted: a loving family (with all the dynamics that come with family), a beautiful home, (with all the work that comes with keeping a home beautiful), and a good job (with all the employee conflicts that come with a high-paying job).
But this man was not content. His wife did not understand him; his son failed to seek the employment he wished for him; the house always needed work. He disliked his boss and co-workers. He grumbled about what he did not have. And what he did have, he thought of as the fruit of his own hard work, not a blessing.
Then one day while driving home from his job, he was struck by a car that ran a stop sign. He lay in the hospital at the point of death. When he regained consciousness, he opened his eyes to see his wife asleep at his bedside, her hand covering his. His room was filled with get well cards, balloons, and flowers from co–workers. And when he was discharged, his son picked him up and took him to his nice, beautiful home.
It took a life–threatening crash for this man to realize that God’s grace surrounded him even in his impoverished childhood. He also realized he was meant to be an instrument of grace for those whose paths he crossed.
We are blessed to be a blessing regardless of the amount of money we have in the bank and regardless of who waits for us at the end of the day.
How are you a blessing to others?
The Rev. Barbara Berry-Bailey is Manager for Relationships in East and Southern Africa in the ELCA Global Mission unit. This first ran in November 2011 as a Give Us This Day column in Gather magazine.
Photo by James Lee, Creative Commons