giving leftovers…

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

We sat together last night, on either end of my couch
talking of wants and needs and giving and receiving.

“Here’s a question I’ve been pondering for a long time…
why do we give away our leftovers?” I asked.

Kari smiled a knowing smile and gently shook her head,
“I know what you mean and I don’t know… But, I
know that I have done it too.”

“Me too,” I mumbled. “I’ve given my yucky food to food drives
and used toys to toy drives.”

“And old coats the kids have outgrown,” Kari agreed.

We talked about giving away the things we have already used
up or worn out. We know that that the things that no longer matter to us are the
only things we are willing to part with.
Yet, it is all just stuff.

“It’s because we are selfish,” came the 10-year-old wisdom
playing LEGOs on the floor at our feet.

“She’s right.”

Selfish. I am so very selfish. I read Jesus’ own words recorded
in Matthew 25:34-40 and I am ashamed.

I have given out of obligation and selfish ambition,
to be seen and noticed.

I have judged out of arrogance and pride,
judging the one to whom I give,
insisting that they be grateful to receive
something I didn’t even really want.

I have given my leftovers,
not my first fruits.

I am that selfish.

“I’ve given Jesus my leftovers,” I looked at Kari,
“I want to give Him my best.”

“Me too,” she said.

The 10-year-old LEGO builder smiled.


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