Tithing Tomatoes!!?

LIVING ON PURPOSE:  Tithing Tomatoes!!?

by Ann Swift

A couple of years ago I took a prosperity program that expanded on the concept of tithing. The class 
explained there several variations on tithing. One can tithe their time, talents, or treasures. Well, I have added another to the list. Tithing tomatoes.
You see, yesterday I was out grocery shopping. I went to one of the discount stores that I occasionally visit. While I was there a sweet little old lady came up to me and asked it I could use some tomatoes.
I said “Yes, I could. Our garden has not produced any yet.”
She then proceeded to show me several 20 pound boxes of grape tomatoes and told me to take one. Take the whole box.
“Are you sure?” I asked.
She assured me I would be doing them a favor to take them because this particular store did not have a way to refrigerate them. She told me she did not want them to go bad.
So I gratefully took the twenty pound box of grape tomatoes. I continued my shopping and got home to Brad a couple of hours later. Brad could hardly believe I had been given the entire box of tomatoes. I had compared prices at another grocery store and just a pint of tomatoes was $1.69. You do the math and you will see I really got a great deal on that box of tomatoes.
Last night for supper I used the tomatoes to make Gazpacho soup. Our garden has been great at giving us cucumbers but not tomatoes so we used our cucumbers and the new tomatoes to make the delicious cold soup. It was wonderful.
I looked at the box of tomatoes and still looked full. Then an idea came to me. Share. Share the tomatoes with others. Don’t let them go to waste. Share them with others who could use them.
Being the extreme recyclers that we are, Brad helped me find some old clear plastic strawberry containers to divide the tomatoes and give them to people. So I called a neighbor who was delighted to receive the pint of tomatoes. Then I went up the street to our local small cinema and gave a quart to the new manager. It was so much fun. They were very happy and grateful to receive the tomatoes. By this time it was dark I decided to wait until today to give away the rest.
As I looked for the next recipients to give tomatoes, it came to me. I am tithing tomatoes. This is what tithing is all about really. It was meant as a way of sharing. Sharing yourself and sharing your stuff. Sharing is based in love and enough. Fear would have me keep the tomatoes even if they rotted.
The act of giving is a very spiritual act. It sparks the generous nature that we all have as little “wee” folk. There was a time in all of our lives when we wanted to give, to help, to do our part. It is still there if we just give it a chance to surface.
The last two years have been challenging for us at Life on Purpose. We have been able to work hard and keep our doors open. Not all businesses in our area have been so blessed. It is often startling for me to drive around and see all the empty buildings that once housed businesses.
This gift of tomatoes was far more than just tomatoes. It was a spiritual lesson in receiving. I found it surprising as I attempted to give away some of these tomatoes how some people were not in the least bit open to receive just a few tomatoes. Others were like little children.
As I meditated last night on who would be good to give these tomatoes to, the idea struck me that maybe I could give them to people who rarely receive. People who work in public service so very often give and give but don’t often have people give back to them.
We live between two post offices. We are about ½ mile from one and one mile from the other. So I gave a pound of tomatoes to each office. I wish you could have seen the looks on their faces. And their comments were so cute: “You’re giving us these tomatoes?” (with big wide eyes and a look of amazement)
“Come back anytime! You don’t have to buy stamps or mail packages to bring us tomatoes. I’ll share this with the rest of the people working here in the office.” (John had a big grin of his face)
It is Friday afternoon, one of the busiest times of the week for my bank. I walked in to cash a check carrying a two pound container of grape tomatoes. One of the tellers said “Can I help you?”
I said, “Yes, I need to cash a check and I wanted to give you these tomatoes.”
“Thank you for thinking of us.”
I held up the tomatoes for all the tellers to see and said “They’re for all of you to share! Enjoy!” There was a round of quick applause and hoorahs then back to work. One young woman even said Melanie just said she was hungry!
I have this inherited purpose that says I have do it all along.  And so I keep thinking it is always left up to me all by myself. This was an exceptionally great lesson for me to learn one more time, to see that when you receive you can also turn around and give. There is always this circle of life going round and round. I just have to keep my mind and heart open because I born in grace. God has designed the Universe in my favor. Wow!!! How amazing is that!! You could even call it AMAZING GRACE.
I wish all of you Love, Fun and Wisdom. May your life be filled with Amazing Grace.