"She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy."
I could not get anything else out of verse 19 other than saying once again that the lady in this chapter is not afraid of work, and I think I've already said that, so I'm moving on to verse 20. And it's one that convicts me to think harder of ways I can fulfill this verse, which Jesus himself told us to do.
I think I am a giver at heart. I love to give away clothes, toys, whatever we have to give. Those Christian Children's Fund commercials really get to me, and the St Jude's ones leave me in tears all the time. I really enjoy helping where I can. It's harder right now, of course, but I'd really like to do more. I picture our family working in a soup kitchen someday, sponsoring a child in a poor country, giving much more than we receive.
The words in this verse are very interesting--"stretch" and "reach". It gives me the impression that she made great effort, maybe even stretching her resources a bit to make sure that she helped everyone she could. I would not say I go that far, to my own shame. I'm not wrapped up in being "a spoiled American", but I think my heart could use some challenging on how to better meet the needs of others--even right now hugely pregnant with 5 other children. We really try to impart to our children the need for Christians to keep in mind that not everyone is as fortunate as we are, and that our Lord called us to "reach" forth our hands to them. Our children know why mom donates clothes to Goodwill and the local battered woman's shelter. We try very hard to make them aware of how thankful they should be for every morsel that goes into their mouths because some children did not even have a dinner last night. But I'm not sure this can really be driven home to young western children--outside the mission field.
Are there creative ways your family strives to meet the needs of others? I'd love to hear about them!