A Tale of Two Coats
It was early winter several years ago. I had pulled out my old winter coat for another year’s use. It was still in pretty good shape although it was looking dingy from so many winters wear. I didn’t really need a new one but I wanted one and casually mentioned it to my daughter one day. She is such a sweet, loving soul that I should have guessed what would happen next. A few weeks later she gave me a gift of a bright red, brand new, winter’s coat.
I put the old one in my closet and started to wear the new coat every day. Each day, though, when I opened my closet something bothered me. It seemed a shame that my still good, old coat should just sit there keeping no one warm during the cold, winter days. After a few weeks I took it out and drove to a local charity thrift shop. I knew that there someone who couldn’t afford a coat otherwise could get my old one. I dropped it off, chatted happily with the staff for a bit, and walked out the door. As I did so I saw a shivering man in only a thin jacket walking in. I wondered if he would end up in my old coat. Then I smiled and went home with a warm heart.
My new coat is my old coat now. It too is getting a little dingy and worn. It has black stains on the sleeves from where I patched the roof last winter. It is in too bad of shape to even donate to charity. I wonder if I should buy a new one soon but I think I will wait a while. I don’t really need a new one and maybe I can find a few more things to give to the charity thrift shop instead.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “Want is a growing giant whom the coat of Have was never large enough to cover.” Perhaps the best way to deal with our wants then is to give of ourselves instead. Love, after all, brings us the most joy. And the more of it you give away, the more of it you have. It is our gift from God and our gift to God as well. May all of your days be full of warmth. May all of your days be full of giving. May all of your days be full Love.
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