New Shoes

I married a giver.  I'm the mother of givers. It's true, that old saying…."It's better to give than to recieve".  Nothing prepared my heart for the day my middle school son would secretly give all he had to a classmate.

It was almost Christmas time.  The time where my kids would excitedly make out their wishlists.  As a family, we tried to keep things under control.  I never paid more than $45 for tennis shoes.  They didn't have the latest video games or gadgets.  It was just never in our budget.  But they did have shoes and clothes (bought by a bargain hunting mama).

Gavin had his eye on a pair of Nike tennis shoes.  At the time, designing your own Nike was the popular thing to do.  The cost?  $95!  He talked it over with me just to get a feel for what I thought about him putting it on his list.  I knew he really wanted them and promised to talk it over with his dad.

Fast forward a week or so.

I was watching him shoot hoops at church when he mentioned those fancy Nike shoes again.  He said that he changed his mind.  Which is normal for a middle school kid, so I listened to his new "idea".  He told me that he had a friend at school who has a lot of brothers.  He must have been the youngest because he NEVER got any shoes.  All he ever wore were old hand-me-downs that didn't quite fit him.

This bothered my boy.

The shoes he had been dreaming of didn't seem quite so special when he compared them to his friends shoes.  He knew that instead of buying an expensive pair of Nike's for himself, that God wanted him to buy his friend a pair of new tennis shoes.

And that's just what he did.  That was in the 8th grade, he's 21 now.  His heart is still as compassionate and his willingness to give just as big.  He spent all Saturday a few weeks ago, riding all over town searching for just the right giftcards for his sister's birthday.  One of them gas (she likes to put $7 worth of gas in her car at a time—cheapo) and another to her favorite clothing store.  He didn't spare the cost.  His intention…..was to bless her and he did.

I don't tell this story to make you think I have this wonderful kid–even though I do.  I share it because of the gift it is to give.  My own kids understand it and have demonstrated it to me many times.  In a world where everyone wants the best for themselves….I can't help but imagine that it pleases God when we give first with wild abandon.

To give you one last mind picture of what I'm saying….

When my son was a senior in high school, the same boy he gave the new tennis shoes to was in his band class.  I noticed he was still wearing the shoes my son had given him 4+ years earlier.  By that time, my own boy had gone through countless pairs of shoes.  

Do you know someone you could secretly bless?  Do it, it will fill your heart more than any special something you could do for yourself.  I promise!

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