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GROCERY STORE | DALTON, GA, USA
(A woman comes up to me while I’m taking down the dried out, bad corn from the display.)
Customer: “You just throw those away?”
Me: “Yep, we have to throw out the bad ones.”
Customer: “You mean they don’t donate it to the poor or anything?”
Me: “Well, no. Our store does donate to the unfortunate, but it’s usually money or fresh product.”
Customer: “But poor people are used to eating bad food! They eat out of the trash all the time! You don’t have to give them good food!”
Although an extreme example, I believe this is representative of how we often operate when giving to the poor. I suppose it stems from combining egocentrism and the dominant worldview of scarcity. It’s not that this lady wanted the old corn for herself, or even that she wanted new corn that would now be unavailable — it’s that she didn’t want the good corn “wasted” on the poor. We desire to preserve what’s valuable, while giving away what’s not. We aspire to sacrifice, yet are unwilling for it to cost us more than that with which we were already willing to part. And we donate our leftovers, but only so we not be seen as wasteful.
God, help us to share willingly. Make us cheerful givers. Empower us to to bless others from our hearts — and not only from our surplus.