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The Man Who Taught Me About Giving

In December 2012 I had an encounter with God where I learned He was real. It's nostalgic remembering what happened after. I didn't know what plans God had for me, but very shortly afterwards, He began to really work on me to change who I am by examining my heart and making me go through a six month period where He taught me tête-à-tête.

I believe the first thing God saw was how hard my heart was towards giving. I mean, I would give but never really felt the generosity of giving. What I believed about money was to hold on to it and I saw it as my money. I controlled it and I could decide what to do with it. Giving it away was not my plan.

The new year 2013 just begun. God worked quickly by starting His work to change my heart. I was walking to work during the morning of January 2nd and something happened to me. There was a man standing at the door of the Tim Horton's coffee shop that I had to pass. He was usually there, holding out a paper cup for money. I would never give him anything. This time I had a crazy conviction in my heart and mind and I could not walk past him without giving him exactly $3.00. I stood on the pavement examining my head. I kid you not, I physically could not move forward until I took out $3.00 from my wallet and put it in his cup.

The next day, the same scenario was played out. I was unable to move forward until I had $3.00 in my hand and put it in the cup. This continued for days, weeks and months. I was a slow learner. It took a long time to shatter my hardened heart and soften it up a litte in giving. Eventually over time I at least clued in that I should have the $3.00 in my pocket. I would automatically walk up the street and deposit $3.00 in the cup, not making eye contact with the man nor speaking to him. He was like a thorn in my side as I learned my lesson.

One day I had an encounter with him. He was waking up from sleeping on the subway grill. It snowed and rained the night before. He spoke to me and showed me how wet his clothing was. I gave him more to buy a meal and told him I was sorry he had to sleep this way. He didn't want to go to a shelter because he didn't like it there. Since that time I would greet him when I gave to him.

One evening I was getting ready to go to sleep. I heard God telling me to take some of the bedding out of my closet and put them into four bags. To that, I had to add my two favourite coats. He wanted me to wake up very early the next morning to drive to work. I had to give these bags to the homeless. I struggled a bit in my heart about giving away the coats, but by this time I knew better and chose to obey God. I added some water and fruit to the bags.