“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 (NIV)
I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking Mojitos. I think of the muddler working sugar into the juice of lime. I think of pressing mint into mush along the side of a glass. I think of the ice and the rum, then the seltzer bubbling to the rim, with the lime plopping into the fizz.
The color, the effervescence, the tinkle (and the rum) evoke leisure, cruise ships, sunshine and abundance. When I drink a mojito, I think to myself: I have all the time in the world.
And I think about the playful images in Luke’s call to generosity. True, the passage might seem to invite a transaction, a quid pro quo. But I think — with all that talk of pressing, shaking and running over — that Luke is describing the effect of giving, not a motivation.
And I agree with him: in my experience, when I give freely, lovingly and without expectation of return in any form, the giving flows into me beyond my ability to absorb. As Luke says, it literally spills in my lap.
What does giving give me? I think it’s access to goodness, plain and simple. When I give my trust, I am trusted. When I share my loss, I receive comfort and support. https://fashionedforjoy.com/2019/03/25/keeping-abreast-of-love/ When I am the one to offer comfort and support, I am so swept along in the other’s love for me that I wonder why I waited so darn long to take the chance.
I hold up a buttercup in a world — a true world, not an alternate one — where goodness is the animating force. And I suddenly see all the other buttercups held in goodness by so many others around me. They are there, and I am among them. You, reader, are there; you are among them, showing goodness. I see this in your comments and in your lives (for we are a small community and I know you). We hold up our buttercups: making beauty, giving kindness, expressing hope.
I know when I give kindness, my own heart softens immediately. My own pores open to receive the kindness possible in that other person. And I have the sense that I have permanently created a wisp of goodness that will float around forever and land on people I don’t even know and lift them in ways I can’t even imagine.
Yes, indeed: a good measure, pressed down, shaken together — and running over. Abundant grace. Abundant warmth. Abundant connection.
We do this every day when we are kind, vulnerable, trusting. When in generosity, we smile at a stranger, soften our clenches, lower our guard. And take some chances.
But I warn you: you’ll need to have a bowl handy to catch it. You will find that all that giving is poured into your own lap.
I wrote this piece for Five Minute Friday, a faith-based community blogging site at https://fiveminutefriday.com/2019/03/28/fmf-writing-prompt-link-up-measure/ Scroll all the way down and check out the other short essays on the topic of “Measure.”