Friday, December 21, 2012

Open hands, the gift of generosity.

Where's your gift, Mama? Alea asked, after looking through the gifts under the Christmas tree.
Well, I responded (at the time), I may not get a gift this year because Daddy's not here to buy me one... 

Later I thought, Perhaps it is time to write about the gifts Daddy has given me.  Maybe there could be no better time than the Christmas season...

Lynn, being Lynn, sang back-up once with Steve Green at the church where he did his internship, Central Wesleyan Church in Holland, Michigan.  We were dating at the time, but very quickly falling in love.  During that concert, Steve Green called his wife on her cell phone through the sound system for the whole auditorium to hear and sang to her "their" song - Holding Hands, by Steve Green.  Later, back stage, Lynn asked him, Hey Steve? (Okay, he likely didn't say it like that...) What was that song you sang to your wife?  Steve replied with a twinkle in his eye, When are you getting engaged? Lynn sort of flushed and stammered, Well I'm not, really, yet...  Still, it became our song :)  And lo and behold, (I should have seen it coming), he tried to sing it to me as part of his vows on our wedding day. (I say tried because he wept like a baby and barely got a single word out!!)

This became a song that we listened to throughout our marriage on very special occasions... We danced to it in the night, in a dark and quiet house after the girls had gone to bed... Holding hands always meant something special, a belonging, a loyalty, a commitment...

I remember a few particular instances since Lynn's death when I watched another husband tenderly take his wife's hand in his, holding it as if it was life's most precious gift... It was beautiful, but bittersweet, like tears of joy streaming down your cheeks, while a knife is stabbing at your heart...

On our anniversary, after going through our wedding pictures, I picked up some more of our old cards.  The first one I opened said, My hand misses yours.  And I thought, Yes, Babe!! My hand misses yours!

But as I felt the emptiness of my hands, that still small voice whispered inside my heart... Open hands.

Lynn led our family in radical generosity.  Selfishness was not permitted and would not be tolerated.  I began to say to our children (at least 100 times a day...), We expect you to have a generous heart, and a generous heart means open hands, open hands for sharing... We are blessed to be a blessing to others.

My hand is empty of its companion.  How my hand misses his!!  But Lynn left me with a gift to steward... the gift of generosity.  My hands may be empty, but they are open.  Before, one hand was open while the other one filled... Now they are both open, turned outward, We are blessed to be a blessing...

Lynn's example of generosity impacts me.  I feel a responsibility to steward this gift, though I will never be Lynn and cannot carry forward who he was and is...  Still, with my will, and in humility because it is not something I could ever accomplish in my own strength, I choose a generous heart, with open hands, knowing full well that God will continue to fill them with Himself and all the riches of His glory... But God help me if, like my toddlers-turned-preschoolers-turned-kindergardeners, I struggle to share!  We are blessed to be a blessing!  We are filled to be poured out!

Make me a river in which your living waters flow freely and generously to those around me.  With open hands, I surrender myself as a vessel of your love.  Nothing I am or have is my own.  It all belongs to You.


  1. Thank you. You are a gift to us, the body of brothers and sisters!

  2. This is so moving. It minister's to my heart. Thank you Natasha for sharing in such a vulnerable way. God bless you child.