No Need for Kleenex

Grab a kleenex, this’ll make you cry–green tears that is.

Millionaire, Jim Sesenbrenner, heir to the Kimberly-Clark fortune–or all the kleenex in the known world–just won the lottery.  Again! In 1997, the Republican US senator won $250,000 on a lottery ticket purchased in Washington DC. Last spring, another winning lottery ticket from Wisconsin yielded $1000. And just last week, he banked another $1000 win.

Sesenbrenner says he spends $10 per week on the lottery. In this case, it does look like “the rich get richer.”

Imagine–a millionaire spending $10 per week on the lottery? Oh, he has the $10 to spare! But is he a man who does not consider himself rich enough? I wonder how much money would make him feel content? How much money is rich enough?

Last week, we purchased a new living room set. Honestly, it is beautiful–cream leather sofas, large plush wing-back Zebra chair,  silk, beaded pillows, etc. It is a little mix of Italian, old-world, with a contemporary-edge pizzazz. It has the creative blend that I like. And after it arrived, I sat in my living room admiring it.

But it just didn’t deliver.

Yes, I love it. Yes, I am extremely grateful to God and my husband. And, no, I am not planning on returning it.

But it doesn’t bring the deep-down, warm-the-cockles-of-your-heart kind of contentment–not true contentment.

What brings life satisfaction is sharing. The years I spent on the mission field without the cream, Italian leather outshine all the other years! We experienced riches of another kind–relationships, teaching, reaching out to the poor and offering relief, traveling, connecting, and living spare. I dug deep wells of contentment in those materialistically lean years. I knew I was giving all that I had to others–that was my very life.

You don’t have to live abroad to give. Every disciple of Jesus is called to share. It is part of God’s ironic scheme to bring His kingdom on earth. Our defense and joy comes from ironic statements like these: “He who looses his life, will find it.” And “To receive, you must give.”

Giving is not natural. Hording is natural. Children may look like cherubs when they are born, but they become selfish barbarians unless they are trained to be grateful and to share.

Once a little girl visited my house. After she came through the front door, she handed me a small, stuffed animal cat. She said, “I don’t want to give this to you, but my mom says I need to learn how to give.” I said thank you and turned my head so she wouldn’t see me chuckling. I wanted to give it back to her so badly, but I knew she needed the exercise of learning generosity. I hugged the little girl and profusely thanked her for the sacrifical gift. She let go of the cat, when she saw how happy I was to receive it.

That is where we all are on learning to give. It hurts at first. After awhile, it turns into joy. It even becomes addictive. And you begin to understand one of the greatest ironic statements of the Bible, “It is better to give than receive.”

In the end, maybe Sesenbrenner is right. All the kleenex in the known world can’t make him happy–or anybody.

 Someday, I am going to a place that is beyond this realm. In this celestial sphere, tears will stream down my face when I see Jesus, my King, Lord, and Redeemer.

Yes, I will cry tears–of regret–because I didn’t give more!

But no need for kleenex.

He will brush the tears from my eyes.


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