For the past two weeks, I've been painfully lazy. And my, has it felt good. Season premiere week, ignoring any inclination to boost my heart rate above 60 bpms, shopping, and happy hours have dominated my agenda. I'm pretty confident that October is going to kick my ass which makes my laziness more acceptable, more justified in my eyes.
The good news in those two weeks was that Robbey came home after being on tour for a solid month. Last weekend, we decided to try out a church that meets down the road from his house. There were roughly 75 people at the 10:30 a.m. service, (by the way, when we were deciding between two churches to attend, the determining factor was Robbe: "Let's go to whichever one starts later."), a decent mix of college students and a fairly diverse group of young and older families. To be honest, the worship seemed loosely based on a skit from SNL. I never saw the worship leader who was masterfully hidden somewhere to the left of the stage. It didn't matter how high I got on my tip-toes or stretched to the left or right, I never saw the man. Only heard the voice. Very Wizard of Oz-ish. Although the music was a bit lacking, it wasn't in any way a deal breaker for me. I was thankful for its simplicity and that it was sincere and heartfelt even in all of its awkwardness.
What may seem more awkward is that the sermon was on giving and tithing and was delivered by, not the pastor, but someone who was probably a head committee member or someone administrative. The subject of giving and money is universally awkward but I believe this person was the perfect person to deliver such a message. He was nervous and read from his notes but was wonderfully humble, honest, determined, and kind with his words. He talked about giving from the heart and not out of obligation; about the reality of maybe not being able to give monetarily so instead giving your time; he talked about poor vs. wealthy giving; and the fact that what we have is not ours, everything we have is Gods and to think we have control over our wealth is a farce.
Another member talked about different ways to increase giving, like giving a one-time 10% of your savings, or upping your weekly giving by five dollars or more, or buying gift cards to local grocery stores from the church which returns 5% to the church (what an awesome idea!). They passed out little booklets that summarized their points (cuteness) and I was really blown away by their thoughtfulness and care that they took to approaching such a sensitive subject.
Robbey and I talked about this afterward, agreeing that we both really liked the message and the way they handled such a topic. We both have different giving styles; he's generally more comfortable giving to strangers and serves by literally walking up to people on the street and offering them food or some kind of help. He gives his coworkers or neighbors rides home or to a class or to work. He supports two women through micro-lending. I think he is a great giver of time by just hanging out with people--strangers or friends--who are desperate for a listening ear. I tend to give money and time to people I know. I'm a nurturer and love building upon friendships, so investing in something outside of that scares me, but I know I would like to be (and need to be) more generous in the unknown.
Having this sermon prompt such an intimate look at Robbey's and my giving style and history set something in motion for me. It opened up a new perspective on our relationship. I think about who we are individually, together, and what that means for our future. How are we going to serve together? What will we invest in and what will that look like? How will we give generously and wholeheartedly? What happens when we don't want to give or have to give more than we have? I'm so thankful for his giving heart. He challenges me so easily and I'm therefore, easily humbled. I hope that I can start living in the truth that what I have is not my own and as a result become more generous. But it can't happen without prayer and a willing heart and to have someone like Robbe around for that continuous inspiration is, I think, a pretty good start.