“Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship—a different kind of “sacrifice”—that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.” – Hebrews 13:16
I’ve shared this story before, but it was so radical that I have to share it again.
In 2008, I was still in Los Angeles and suffocating financially. My credit cards were maxed out and I had barely anything in my checking account. Returning home to Charlotte (which did eventually happen) was looming on the horizon, leaving behind my dreams in LA.
Through a men’s retreat at Mosaic LA, I had become friends with a guy named Ben who worked in Hollywood. He was not “wealthy” by any means, but he was making a steady paycheck. One night we met for coffee, which turned into me unloading my discouragement and fear on Ben, sharing that I was completely failing at my pursuits as an actor. He was generous and he listened to my heartache without judgement and with empathy.
Then he did something I have never experienced before (or after) that night:
Ben excused himself, ran across Hollywood Blvd., stopped at an ATM, and then ran back to our table, handing me $300. I was in shock. His reason? He wanted me to stay in LA and to have a chance to continue towards my dreams.
Generosity is contagious.
For most of my life, I thought that changing culture and changing the world was through influence and reputation within society. I would be a famous actor! I would be a famous author! I would be a millionaire saving kids in Africa! The longer I live this journey of faith, the more I’m realizing how wrong I was…The world is changed through a sacrificial and generous heart, even when that is simply giving of your time.
What if we began looking towards the needs of those around us, rather than always focusing on our own selfish desires?
What if we cared to meet others in their need, listening to the heartache and pain that they are going through?
What if we began serving others with no expectation for anything in return?
The world would change. The world would be in a state of shock. The world would never be the same.