God the Giver
So her guardian angel stood and wondered what good deed of hers he could remember to tell to God; “She once pulled up an onion in her garden,” said he, “and gave it to a beggar woman.” And God answered: “You take that onion then, hold it out to her in the lake, and let her take hold and be pulled out. And if you can pull her out of the lake, let her come to Paradise, but if the onion breaks, then the woman must stay where she is.” The angel ran to the woman and held out the onion to her. “Come,” said he, “catch hold and I’ll pull you out.” He began cautiously pulling her out.
Some may read this story naïvely, as a recipe for how to get into paradise with minimal effort. If you do just a single good deed, God will pull you on the slender thread of that generosity out of the lake of fire. But the deed must be good, given to others in true generosity. If you do it just for yourself, just to get you out of hell, the thread will break, and you’ll end up licked by flames for eternity.
If this wonderful story were a recipe for getting into paradise, it would be a bad one. True, it would get one thing right. God, here personified in the guardian angel, is immensely good even to the wicked. God seeks to save them and weeps when they are desperately stuck in their sin. But it would get the main thing wrong.
It’s not by our generosity, however slender, that we are saved, at least not according to the Christian tradition. We are saved by God’s generosity."
From Miroslav Volf, Free of Charge - Zondervan - 2005
It is NOT about how generous we are - even at Christmas. It is all about how generous God is.
Lord, today let me realize that all you have given me has a name or address written on it other than mine. I will be a river - or giver - and deliver that gift from you.
SO WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?