Our three-year-old granddaughter, Rylee, went on a day-vacation with her mom and dad and older sister. When they arrived back at our house, Rylee was wearing a new black T-shirt. After we greeted her with hugs, she proudly puffed out her chest and repeated the T-shirt’s saying in her best, gruff pirate voice:
“Give me all your candy and nobody cries!” (Rylee said “cwies.”)
Ah, candy, the joy of grandkids, grown-up kids, and pirates! A bit of chocolate will brighten up a gray day, but, unfortunately, when you’re a pirate, it’s hard to stop after just one piece!
I might not announce it on my T-shirt, but somehow during my lifetime I’ve acquired an “inner pirate.” At the most inconvenient times, she emerges with a demanding voice, usually when she notices someone who owns a bigger house, more jewelry, or a newer car. I’m sure my heavenly Father tires of my gruff pirate voice, demanding equal stuff — “so nobody cwies.” Arrrggghhh!
In this world, most people live in poverty, but beyond the label of “mere” poverty are those who face life-threatening need. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that, during the years of 2012 through 2014, about 805 million people in the world ( 1 in 9) suffered from chronic undernourishment. That means they were starving. To death.
In the Bible, in the book of Luke, chapter 12, verse 48, Jesus tells us, “…to whom much is given, much shall be required.”
Let me put that verse into the context of my own life. I don’t live in a big house, but, even on the coldest winter day, I’m warm and comfortable. I own an office filled with modern techie machines that enable me to pursue my writing career. I have more clothes than I can wear in a week. My cupboards are filled with food.
So how does God want me to respond when I read Luke 12:48? I think He expects me to cultivate generosity, not just regarding my possessions and my money, but also concerning my time, my attention, my faith, my joy, and my abilities.
And what about my inner pirate?
When Rylee grinned and made her gruff pirate demand, did we hand over all our candy? I’m sure you know the answer to that. One piece was enough. Well, maybe two.
When my inner pirate makes her demands, God gives me what I need, not what I want. Then he asks me to imagine a world without pirates, so I’ll ask you to imagine the same thing. The world as God intended it to be. Where generosity grows a love so abundant that inner pirates are vanquished. And nobody cries.