When our children were little, I recall an occasion when we secretly planned something we called “Operation: Secret Drop.” Whenever we would grocery shop, we’d let the kids pick out an extra item or two for someone else. We didn’t have a huge grocery budget ourselves, so just bought a few non-perishables every week. A few weeks later, we had a few grocery bags full of our family favorites. Under the cover of darkness, we went to the house of a family God had placed on our hearts, put the bags on their porch, rang the door bell, then ran like crazy and hid in a spot where we could witness their reaction.
It was our family secret. The principle for this family activity came from this passage of Scripture.
Matthew 6 (NIV)
Giving to the Needy
6 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Not long ago, I was blessed by a secret benefactor.
A few Sundays ago after church, my husband asked a question. “So, where should we go to buy a yellow peony?” I was flabbergasted and so very excited. I suggested two different favorite nurseries, and off we went on our little adventure. On our way there he filled me in concerning this little blessing. He told me that someone had messaged him and told him that they wanted to bless me with a yellow peony and that they wanted their gift to remain anonymous.
I was excited, to say the least, but a little concerned. “Do they know how expensive yellow peonies are?!” Wayne assured me the individual was aware of their rarity and related expense, but that they wanted to bless me with it.
I surmised that my gracious benefactor may be a reader of my blog or a friend on Facebook who has seen my numerous postings of pictures of my garden and might have noticed the lack of yellow peonies. Perhaps they are a gardener themselves and know what a coveted prize a yellow peony is in the garden.
As we drove to The Flower Factory I hoped they would have a yellow peony this late in the planting season and dreamed of where I’d plant it. With each passing mile, I wracked my brain for who the giver could be, sometimes throwing a name out there to get Wayne’s reaction. But he knew better than to divulge the secret and thereby rob the giver of the blessing.
We were pleased to see that the nursery still had 16 yellow Paeonia ‘Bartzella‘ to choose from, so made our purchase and headed home to plant it.
Now, I most certainly am not “needy” when it comes to being able to make a purchase like this. In fact, I know Wayne would have blessed me with it himself, if he had known it was on my flower wish-list. I’m wondering if, perhaps, my secret benefactor knew I was needy in heart, weary in shouldering the load of caring for my beloved Momma as she wrestles with Alzheimer’s.
Dear secret benefactor, if you’re reading this, we planted the yellow peony so Momma can see it from her place at the table when it blooms next Spring. In the meanwhile, it’s already blooming in my heart, along with love and appreciation for your generous and thoughtful gift. May your Father, who sees what is done in secret, richly reward you.