We don’t often eat Lucky Charms cereal at our house…too much sugar, too early in the morning. But, in a moment of maternal weakness, my little cherub got her request at the grocery store…a vibrant red box of oaty, marshmallowy goodness. At least I had the foresight to buy a box of Cheerios to combine with the Charms to balance out the nutritional value a bit.
The opening of the box began the competition…who could get the most marshmallows in their bowl? Or more accurately, who could brag about having more marshmallows in their bowl, regardless of the actual mallow count. My son eats the cereal dry, but my daughter likes hers with milk. He digs through to find the colorful clumps; she eats the soaked mallow/oat combination on her spoon. He makes a dry mess; she makes a wet one. They both enjoy themselves.
This morning, he woke up before she did and burrowed down into his bowl of Charms like a paleontologist. She came in and snuggled on the couch a bit. As she was finally coming around to admitting she was awake and cognizant, she realized that he was eating the treasured breakfast bits, so she asked for some as well. He, in a fit of kindness, brought his bowl over to her, reaching out in a gesture of goodwill to give her his breakfast. She looked at me in awe and then at him in awe, and said, ‘Thanks’. Then, he ran off to play, with a glimmer in his eye. He had done a good deed to start his day…or had he?
As I got milk for her cereal, I realized there were no marshmallows in the bowl. He had picked them all out. She had not noticed, being so overwhelmed with his kindness.
I added some cereal to the bowl so as not to start a civil war, poured on the milk, and gave her the bowl. She began to eat happily. Then, I stepped around the corner and glanced into the playroom at him. He looked up from playing Legos and met my eyes. We exchanged a look that indicated we both knew what he had done. But nothing was said. He had shared, that’s what she thought, that’s what she learned. He had withheld, that’s what I knew, that’s what he learned. Lesson accomplished.
Oh, but wait, the real charm was this…the luck of being grown up and realizing I do the same thing. I make my ‘personal donations’ look good, but I hold back what I really want. Money, time, love,…hmmmm…
God sees, and he knows, and he gives me that same knowing look I gave my son. He has given me all the lucky charms I could ever want, and he will continue to do so as long as I have needs. I should share the good stuff when I have it. My unused coats, my excess books, my spare change, my extra time, my open hugs… I need to give away not just my oats, but my marshmallows, too.
2 Corinthians 9:7-9 (www.biblegateway.com)