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Generosity Always Multiplies

Let me tell you a story about a backpack. ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’ž

A young woman followed the signs to our garage sale this morning. She seemed to be in her mid-thirties and was out enjoying a walk and the sun. The first thing she picked up off the tables of stuff was a book entitled "What Cancer Cannot Do." It was a great little book, a gift from a friend, but it had already served its purpose with my family so I was ready to let it go. "That's a good book you picked there," I said. "Is it?" She grimaced a bit. "I hope so.... I have to go in for a test next week and I'm scared. But I'm going to give this to my Auntie. Because she has it and I'm trying to believe that I don't." "I'm so sorry. It's great to remember what Cancer cannot do. Definitely have her read it. And I'll be praying you don't have it too." "Thank you!" She smiled a worried smile. "You know, I had to go in for a test on a lump in my breast recently. It came back negative. More often than not; they do." I offered. (Actually, the lump disappeared before the doctors in less than ten minutes. It was there. And then it wasn't. But I figured I would save that story for another time.) "Yes!! Well, that's good!" Her grin widened. "Do you know someone that had it?" She asked. I had kind of been hoping she wouldn't ask that one,l as I didn't want to get her hopes down, but I hate to lie. "My late husband." "I'm so sorry." She said. "It's okay. Really. I mean, it's been insanely hard too. But, I do consider it a gift. I know now what matters and I wouldn't trade that knowledge for the world." I've said it a million times and I'll say it a million more. Because it's the truth. "Yeah... That's true. SO true! Even just being tested help me realize what matters and made my life so much clearer." "Exactly!!" She walked off to look at the jewelry and I went back to reading my magazine. She ended up gathering a few more items. When she was finished, she came over so we could talk pricing. We got through everything and then she got to the last item and asked "How much for the book?" "Umm. You know what? Nothing. You can have it." I said. She smiled big and flipped her backpack around to the front to get her wallet. What a bright, beautiful bag I thought. "I like your backpack. It's really pretty." I've been trying to give compliments out loud whenever they come to mind. Why not? Makes the world more beautiful and more happy, right? I like calling attention to the positive! "Oh!!! Do you? You can have it! I've been trying to figure out who I could give it to!" She laughed. This stranger immediately took her bag off her back and took everything she owned out of it, though I insisted she didn't have to give me her beautiful backpack. She clearly still used it! She said she really, truly wanted to. That she NEEDED to give it away. That we could think of it as a trade. "A book for a bag." This woman and I don't know each other. I didn't get her contact information. But I did get her name. Rhonda. I told her I would pray for her. And I am. Maybe you can too? Pray for negative tests, a healed aunt, and lessons learned that will FAR outweigh their cost. What an amazing thing, to receive a gift so freely!! Crazy this world we live in. Where compassion is so scarce and yet comes so organically when we are given the "gift of hardship" and able to really see PEOPLE for WHOSE they are (God's) instead of WHO they are. Be kind. Give stuff away. Compliment others. Everything comes back around eventually. Happy to have a bag that not only will serve its purpose for our family but will also always remind me that we are ALL the same, fighting invisible battles that no one knows anything about... And that generosity ALWAYS multiplies. ๐Ÿ’œ

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