A Nickel Back Scratch
Give, and it will be given to you: Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will men give unto you. For with the measure you use, it will be measured unto you.
~ Luke 6:38
When I was just a child, my dad asked me to give him a back scratch for a nickel. I agreed, and when I had finished, dad reached into his pocket for his little coin purse. It was a soft plastic, oval shaped disc. When he squeezed the ends, a slit in the middle would open. He was bent over, digging with his finger searching for his nickel.
I vividly remember, at that very moment, I saw dad in a way that was foreign to me. I was the child, but I was seeing him as the little child, bending over, scavenging for a nickel that I knew, he could barely afford. It was the first time I felt sad for my father and I said, “Daddy you don’t have to pay for that back scratch!” It was a very strange feeling for me. It was sympathy.
Why would that specific memory stay with me all these years? It was such a small speck in my life, yet it left me with an indelible impression.
I sorted it out in my mind and realized three things:
1. There is a saying that goes, “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” This means if you do a favor for me, I’ll do a favor for you. The saying should really be like this, “When your back itches, I’ll scratch it and I don’t expect one in return.” Sometimes people need that specific thing that only you can fill. Do it! Don’t expect to receive anything out of it other than God’s approval. The Bible says that when we serve others, we should do it enthusiastically as if we are doing it for God. Imagine that! We are actually waiting on God, when we wait on others. When I gave that gift to my daddy, I was actually giving it to my Heavenly Father.
2. It was the first time I had seen my dad through compassionate eyes. We do need to become more aware of the needs of others; a sympathetic eye. We must not judge, because many times a person has deep-seated issues that are the underlying reasons for their actions. We should ask God each day, “Who can I better understand today, or who can I help today?” Tolerance, supported by love, is the key.
3. There are times in our lives that we need to throw away our pride to allow others to help us. Sometimes it is more difficult to receive, than to give. We need to remember that we thwart the giver's blessing from God, when we do not allow them to do their work. Be humble.
The scripture above says that when we give, God will give to us: pressed down, shaken together and running over. But we should give, not because of what we think we might receive from God, but because we love Him. God gave us His only son, who gave us His life. He gave us all that we have, all that we do, and all that we are. Much has been given to us, so in gratitude, much should be given to others. We should do it to please Him. It’s an offering of our love for God, by demonstrating love for others.
Dear Giver of Life, Thank you for your gift of love. Help us to be sympathetic to those in need and to give just as you have given to us. Amen
~ Jenny Calvert