The generosity of those who have little

I have recently had occasion to witness how those who have little can give almost everything to others. I was attending a board meeting recently, where we were fed gourmet pizza, given that the meeting happened over the dinner hour. This privilege seemed normal – a proper compensation. After all, we were giving up our dinner hour to serve the organization. The meeting wasn’t well attended, so we had several boxes of pizza left at the end. I was thinking that this would make a great lunch the next day. It might even make me popular at the office: I would be the distributor of gourmet pizza, albeit a day old. As I was gathering the boxes, our association president started chatting with a member of the janitorial staff. They were chatting about how cold it was. Our president offered the pizza as a nice dinner for the cleaning lady’s family. Her response surprised me: “Well, I could do that, but I think I’ll just take it down to the shelter. They know me there, I volunteer several times a week – they’ll trust open pizza boxes coming from me. The gentlemen living at the shelter will appreciate the treat.” I asked her if this meant a longer drive home for her. It was a bitterly cold, snowy night. The temperature was well below zero. Again, she said, with a shake of her head and a big, wide smile: “Yessir, maybe an extra half an hour at the end of my shift. But honestly, if few minutes extra to my drive mean that those poor gentlemen at the shelter have some tasty pizza tonight – well, that makes it all worthwhile, don’t it?” Where I could only think of the treat the pizza would be for me, and how it could make me more popular, this woman, who makes so little money and works so hard, thought not of herself, but of bringing some happiness to those who have less than her. She reminded me of something that night: poverty of the wallet doesn’t mean poverty of the spirit. While she may have little money, she possesses a greater treasure: a heart full of caring love.

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