Become a cheerful giver

A weary and exhausted soldier was returning from a war.  He was thirsty and hungry. As he passed through a village, he knocked many doors for a morsel of food or some water to drink.

Everybody refused him. Some said, “The monsoon has failed us so we have no food for ourselves.” Every door was closed and the soldier faced refusal everywhere.
Then the soldier met an old man and requested for a large vessel. On receiving the vessel, the soldier put two stones into it and began boiling it. The old man was curious and he asked, “Why are you boiling these stones?”

The soldier said, “These are soup stones; when you boil them you get wonderful soup.”
 The old man spread the news in the whole village saying, “We have two magical soup stones.” When the stones were boiling, the old man shouted, “Bring the tomatoes, the potatoes, the coriander, the salt, the pepper, the curry leaf, the taste makers, spices and put them here, the soup is getting ready. Our soldier is giving us free soup. Bring your vessels so that we can all have this beautiful soup.”

All came - some with big vessels and some small. After having the beautiful soup, some asked, “What is the magic of this stones?”

The soldier said, “There is no magic in these stones; it is your love and sharing that is the magic. Share with those in need and all will be happy.”

The Bible teaches us in Saint Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver,” (2 Corinthians).

In the Gospel of Mark, we have a beautiful example of a poor widow who had just two coins in her hand but that was all she had and she gave it to the temple, because of her love for God. (Mark 12). Jesus commended her before his disciples saying, “Many gave of their abundance, but this poor widow even in her poverty, gave all that she had.”
Give lovingly, for God loves a cheerful giver.

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