Matthew 6:1-4 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
How to Give
1 "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people, to be seen by them. Otherwise, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 So whenever you give to the poor, don't sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be applauded by people. I assure you: They've got their reward!
3 But when you give to the poor, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Many years ago during Christmas season I baked cookies to give as gifts to all my friends and relatives. I was careful to decorate them so special and they were works of art for sure. I wish I had taken pictures of them, but I didn't. Anyway, I decided that the people who pick up my trash would be the recipients of some of my art cookies, so I carefully packaged them and put them on the counter waiting for the morning to come so I could run out and put them where they could find them since the next day was trash day.
The next morning I walked to the trash bins and put my beautifully wrapped Christmas cookie sacks on a log that was close to the trash bins. I was sure there would be no mistaking that these packages marked with tags that said ‘THANK YOU, have a merry Christmas’ were gifts so I went back into the house and listened for the sound of the trash trucks so I could rush to the window and see them get their gifts. I waited and waited and as the day unfolded and the afternoon arrived, I realized the trash trucks were not coming.
Brent, my son, came by and when he noticed that I kept going to the kitchen and looking out the window, he was curious as to what was distracting me from paying attention to what he had come to talk with me about. When I told him he said, “Mom, don’t you know? The trash pick-up schedule has been changed for the holidays and there is no pick up today.”
Since I had given all the cookies away, he was glad there was no trash pick up. The cookies would be all his! We walked together to the trash bins and picked up the cookie sacks and quickly put them back down. The sacks were covered with ants. We both had a laugh and every year since then Brent always asks me if I’m going to bake cookies for the trash people. No one else understands why we laugh.
Today I am thankful for lessons learned. Ants like cookies. Ants work year round.