In the post below, we look at Three Little Words — “Don’t be afraid” — that we should perhaps use to begin more of our sentences.
Here are three other words, that perhaps should end more of those sentences: “Pay it forward.”
“Don’t be afraid; pay it forward.” It’s almost the perfect one-sentence summary of the Gospel.
And here are a few more words, from both my mom and Saint Bernadette Soubirous, the visionary of Lourdes:
“God is never outdone in generosity.”
This is true. I know this to be true in my life. When times have been tough, and it felt a little scary to help someone else out from my own depleted funds, I trusted it: God is never outdone in generosity.”
You share what you have, you always get back what you need. Always. Always. Always:
When you are feeling afraid, an action denoting trust always makes you feel less fearful and more powerful, whether it is praying for another or writing a check for $20.00 that you suspect you may need, yourself, down the road. It is an action that helps one get in touch with the wider world, and with feelings of selflessness, engagement and wisdom. It’s like shoring up for hard times – filling the corn cribs, so to speak – for the famine on the horizon.
And, after you’ve made a donation, find someone who needs your prayers, and pray for them. Even if you really can’t afford to give so much as a dime to charity, you can always pray. Prayer is a subversive liberty; it is freedom because no one can touch it, monitor it or forbid it. Or tax it, spend it or waste it. So pray for someone, or some group. Commit to it. You will feel better. I promise, you will. Don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid to help someone else out, even if it feels scary. God is never outdone in generosity. Even if you’re not sure you believe it right now, choose to trust it.
With trust, comes power, but not as the world understands it.
UPDATE I: Thomas L. McDonald at State of Play blog with a clever kind of “pay it forward.”