By Robbie Goldman
Our waiter came over at the end of the meal and asked if we would like dessert. Glancing around the table I said with fatherly confidence, “Not tonight.” With a persuasive urge the waiter responded, “Are you sure?” followed by a long pause. He then quietly shared, “Another guest in the restaurant has already paid for your meal tonight and they insist I persuade all of you to have dessert as well.”
We will never forget that dinner and the unexpected dessert, but most of all, we remember the tug on our hearts that was created by a stranger’s generosity. We felt the desire to pass on the generosity that we felt in that moment.
Fundraising relies on this same spirit of generosity. As each year comes to a close, we begin to anticipate the needs of the upcoming year and finalize the current year’s obligations for Dry Bones. I understand the general funding overview but am thankful that several other very gifted and loving people on our staff and board keep track of the details. They steward the gifts given to Dry Bones in the most beautiful way, and I am so thankful for their ministry.
A few weeks ago, I experienced a day that brought back the tug on my heart that I had felt at the restaurant. Three events that day helped me to see clearly how those of you that give so generously are much like the stranger at the restaurant lavishly providing my family’s meal.
My day started with an email from a long time friend of Dry Bones. “I made it to the halfway house and I am so happy. I have wanted to get here for such a long time”, the email began. “I have a plan for putting my life in order and will be here for about 9 months. I do have a favor, if you guys can help me. I do not have any clothes other than what I arrived here with and they need to be washed. Is there any way you all could help?”
Later on, another friend that had recently found a safe place to stay called and told me they are doing well in their new location but have no funds for the bus.
As the saying goes, things happen in threes. Right in stride, I received a call from another friend that had found a job but there was a dress code and they needed clothing to be in compliance so they could actually go to work.
It takes the generosity of many to fulfill these needs. And because of the generosity of strangers to these friends of mine, like my family’s waiter, I got to say yes to each of them. To be able to say, “We can help you with what you need!” is always the best feeling in the world.
Thanks to your generosity, we often get to insist, “Go on. Have dessert too!”