You Have No Idea

It’s never a bad day to put some generosity in the world.

A good friend wrote me this week to let me know how the October 31 reading in Live Loved Free Full inspired an act of generosity that lay before him on the very day he was reading it. The reading encouraged him to give beyond what he was already planning to give to someone in need.

You can’t do generosity out of guilt; it will never end up in the right place. But if you walk through your day with a generous heart, God may just show you someone who could use some financial help, a gift of time in a meaningful conversation, or some practical help with a difficult problem. Generosity changes the world; it is the antidote to violence and vengeance so prevalent in our day

Here’s the reading for October 31 and reading it again warmed my heart with the possibilities that each day presents if we can look beyond ourselves to a world in need around us:

We were just finishing our meal with my daughter and the grandkids at Bandit’s, my favorite BBQ restaurant, when I noticed a young couple sitting at a table behind Sara making goo-goo eyes at each other and doting over a one-year-old sitting in a high chair at the end of the table. I was touched by the sweetness of that young family.

I pointed them out to Sara and suggested we pick up their check. It’s something we do occasionally ever since I was involved in a fight for the check at an ice cream parlour in Framingham, Massachusetts, twenty-five years ago. When our hosts pulled rank, demanding to pay it, I picked up the check of a young couple on the other side of the restaurant as an act of surrender.

Since then Sara and I occasionally pick up a check for random strangers. So, I told the waitress I wanted to pay the bill for the family near us. She asked if I wanted to keep it anonymous, which we usually do, but this time it didn’t seem important.

When they finished, they got up to leave and walked by our table without a glance. They didn’t know. They must have sought out the waitress, however, because two minutes later someone tapped me on the shoulder. I looked up, startled, and immediately the young mother broke into tears.

I stood up and introduced myself, and she hugged me while barely able to whisper in my ear, “You have no idea! You have no idea!” When she collected herself, she said, “That little boy was in a hospital Sunday night with a 105-degree fever. We almost lost him.” She broke down again. Now I was tearing up. “You have no idea what this means to us, that Someone knows.”

Sara and I left the restaurant with our hearts soaring. How fun was it to be part of something like that and watch someone be loved by God without us having to tag it with our own graffiti? And Julie said her kids talked about it all the way home, wanting to know what we did and why that woman was crying on Grandpa’s shoulder!

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people,
especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Galatians 6:10


You can order your copy of Live Loved Free Full here. I designed this book to help people have a relational thought every morning that would draw them inside the Father’s heart and set a grace-filled tone to the day. It also makes an excellent Christmas gift for someone looking for that kind of encouragement.

3 thoughts on “You Have No Idea”

  1. Pingback: You Have No Idea | Lifestream – The Faith Herald

  2. That was very moving, and an encouragement for us to give whenever we can, because we never know to what extent it may bless the receiver.

  3. Yeah, Right on.
    You can`t make yourself do that stuff. It has to come from the heart or you wil end up giving to get favours back.
    Only God can give you the right heart. What Wayne calls “Tingling presence”.
    WE owned a holiday caravan (trailer in USA) stationed about 4 and a half hours drive away fromour home. Family circumstances meant we had to be helping our Daughter when we would weekending at “the Van”.
    An aquaintance from the area where the van was parked wrote asking if they could buy the Van. It seemed like the right move, at the right time. The money would be useful. So we agreed on a price. We drove to West Wales to hand over the van. Then both Wife Pauline and me felt we should give it away.
    We allowed them to get the money out (Cash, no less). Then we gave it back to the with the message that God, Our father had asked us to do that. They just could not believe someone would do that. They will think about God in a new way from now on which is the important thing

Comments are closed.