A Cheerful Giver
by Gail Gaymer Martin
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
When I turn my calendar to June, Father’s Day jumps out at me. Though my father has been gone for years, my wonderful and vivid memories have not faded. Fathers aren’t always perfect, and mine wasn’t, but he made up for his imperfections in many ways. When I think of my dad, I picture him in the kitchen, a grin on his face, frosting a cake he baked to surprise us. I hear his beautiful, lyric tenor voice singing in the church choir or belting out one of the old songs from his past as he puttered around the house or sat on the porch at our cottage. I’ll never forget the times he sang popular songs, trying to recall the lyrics while he looked to me for the words. But most of all, my dad’s generosity shines.
Before Christmas each year, my dad stopped in Hamtramck, a Polish community he passed through on the way home from work, and purchased large, hand-painted Christmas balls. The lovely designs still decorate my Christmas tree and remind me of his thoughtfulness. I loved the days he came home with piles of used records he’d purchased at a discount from a man who owned a Jukebox. I had the greatest collection of popular music among all my friends.
But one particular example of his generosity shines the brightest: the day I was called down to the principal’s office. My first thought was why? I had done nothing wrong, at least not that I knew. As I approached the office, I could see my dad through the glass wall. My pulse skipped. Something was wrong. I hurried toward him, fearing the worst. Dad said he had permission for me to leave the building for an hour. I followed him to the car, my mind spinning with worry. But instead of a tragedy, he pulled in front of an office supply store, smiled and took me inside.
That day he purchased my first portable typewriter—a Remington Quiet-Riter, which I still own today, although it was retired many years ago. I used that typewriter through high school when I wrote for a local and a county newspaper. It served me through my college bachelor’s degree and my first years of teaching as I prepared handouts, tests and reports. I knew my dad had other things he needed more, but he recognized my love of writing and saw the typewriter as a generous priority.
With generosity in mind, I can’t help but think of our Heavenly Father, who also provides us with every breath, every need, even our very life. He guides, protects and shelters us and offers us His love. He shows His love to us through His generous gifts of mercy, forgiveness, and the ultimate gift of His precious Son, our Savior, who died for our sins. As Jesus walked this earth, he gave to those in need. He spread the Good News, healed the sick and fed the hungry with five loaves of bread and two fish. He taught, he listened, he forgave and blessed. Through his amazing love, he gave the ultimate—His life for us. Bound within His love, we are given hope and eternal life.
Generosity is what God asks of us, and this kind of generous gift became a theme in my current series, Dreams Come True. A June release, the final novel, A Dream of His Own, is based on a father’s amazing generosity. He is the sole anonymous donor of the Dreams Come True Foundation, which makes dreams come true for children who are surviving serious illnesses. This book reveals the donor and his reason for giving. We meet this man who is struggling with a failure he can’t forget, and from it we watch him learn and grow and finally face God’s amazing gift of forgiveness. As the sole donor of this foundation, he explains in the novel that he remained anonymous, not wanting thanks and praise for what he gave. Instead he wants thanks and praise to go to the Giver.
As we think of Father’s Day and honor our own fathers, let us bow our heads that day and every day, thanking the Giver of all we are and all we have.
About the Author: Multi-award-winning novelist, Gail Gaymer Martin writes Christian fiction for Love Inspired and has written for Barbour Publishing, where she was honored by Heartsong readers as their Favorite Author of 2008. Gail has sold over fifty novels with over three million books in print. She is the author of Writers Digest’s Writing the Christian Romance. Gail is a co-founder of American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Christian Authors Network, a keynote speaker at churches, libraries and civic organizations and presents workshops at conferences across the US. She was named one of the four best novelists in the Detroit area by CBS local news. Gail lives with her husband in a northwest Detroit suburb.