|This is a story from my husbandís other life when he was a young man in the Marines in North Carolina. He and his wife
had proudly purchased a brand new Saab, a wobbly early version of the now reliable car. The car had a tricky three-cylinder
engine and two doors whose locks were not user friendly.|
The couple set off in the late evening for the long drive
north to visit family. Along the dark, lonely way, the car started to act up. George pulled to the side of the deserted
country road in order to make the necessary adjustments.
Although his door was locked, it opened from the inside without
unlocking. George got out, closed the door, which stayed locked. But no worry, his wife was still in the car. The
engine was running. George tinkered under the hood, using a flashlight to see. No luck with the adjustments. Then his
wife got out of the car and shut her door. It stayed locked, too.
There was the car, engine sputtering, the doors
all locked while George and his wife stood outside surrounded by dark fields. There was one little light coming from
a shack far off in one field. George trudged his way to the shack and knocked hesitantly on the door.
one-room cabin people were sleeping wherever they could. George asked the man who kindly answered the door if he
had a coat hanger. Yes, he did and George was welcome to take it. Back George trudged, used the coat hanger to trip
the door lock, loaded himself and his wife in the tricky car and set off on their way.
How could it be that in the midst of poverty George was given the one gift he needed to see him safely on his way?
Contrast this gift with the gift of a Thanksgiving meal that was left anonymously outside the apartment door of a woman
in New Haven year after year. The woman never did find who left the meals. She was not grateful. She was mad! She didnít
eat meat, she felt capable of fixing her own Thanksgiving food and now she had to figure out what to do with all that
stuff! No one asked her what she wanted. No doubt the giver felt the glow of generosity year after year, never realizing
what a pain he or she was.
Hereís to asking for what we need.
Hereís to giving what is wanted.
Hereís to knowing each other and
caring for each other.