Years ago Miss Bea, an elderly neighbor, taught me a saying that she had learned when she was a young woman during the Depression, "Call me Jimmy, I'll take anything you gimme." This means that when someone offers you something, you should accept gratefully. She explained further that this didn't just mean holding onto everything that came your way but being sure to respect what you got by using what you could and giving what you couldn't to someone else or, in fact, giving it all to someone else who had need.
At some time after that, I was privileged to listen to a homily by Father Stan Fortuna who spoke of going on pilgrimage in Europe. A woman, obviously very poor, took note of his Fransciscan friar's robes, so she offered him an apple. He was not hungry and had no need, so he did not like to take something from someone who truly had need herself but he saw the hope and joy in her eyes--the hope for someone else to be happy and the joy of sharing her blessings. He took the apple, and later he shared with someone else who was very glad of the gift. Father Stan's advice was that we should take life's apples--thereby we give grace to the giver and we are blessed, too; if we can share further, the blessing continues.
Someone recently gave our pastor a gallon jar of whole dill pickles. He shared by bringing them to our 5th Sunday church supper where they were enjoyed. The church shared further by offering access to the large jar to the Girl Scouts who meet in our fellowship hall. But there were still pickles leftover, so the pastor offered the jar to me and it was still fairly full.
Did I need the pickles? Well, I'd certainly enjoy them. I remembered the wisdom of both Miss Bea and Father Stan, so I took the apple.....well, the pickles in this case. Although I won't be sharing them on unless it's to serve to someone, they have already been shared and shared again.
The problem is that, as I've mentioned on this blog before, I sold my refrigerator and replaced it with a dorm-size fridge as an economizing measure. No way was a gallon jug fitting in there--it was too tall for one thing and for another, it would take up half the top shelf. What to do? I recalled another sermon where our pastor used the example of how little rocks fill the space between big ones if you put them in a jar--but you have to add the big rocks first. The answer was simple: a smaller (but still large) jar that would fit in the fridge. I could slice the pickles and add the juice once the jar was filled.
Brilliant. It works! And I will be able to enjoy pickles for quite a long time. They're really tasty,
Life is good. I am blessed by kind people and by their words of wisdom.