Dr. Chapman starts Chapter 4 with the story of R.G. Le Tourneau. I “googled” this guy. He is real. He was a man of little education but a man who used his brains and his faith to move mountains…literally.
What a giver.
What a receiver.
To many who read about him, he is a nut. To some who read about him, he is inspirational.
You see, he believed that God is a God of gifts.
The more I have thought about this man, the more I believe he is right.”
Why don’t we see life like he does?
I was talking to a soldier the other day and as part of our conversation he talked about his RV. It had a small shower and he said “I sure appreciate it.” I wondered about his statement and then he explained, “In Iraq, I had to go two or three weeks without taking a shower or bath.” Could a person say that warm, clean water to wash with is a gift from God?
I was talking to the director of the local mission center a few weeks ago and he told me about this little lady who came to the mission center a few days earlier and she had a simple request. She lived under a bridge. She wanted a roll of toilet paper. When Brad gave her a roll, she broke down in tears. Could a person say that a roll of toilet paper is a gift from God?
We have a church member who is dying. At the moment of writing this post, he is probably in the process of breathing his last breaths. His family is gathered around him in his home and hospice has been called. I am not close to death right now but I wonder about his process. What about his pain? Could a moment free of pain be a gift from God? Could a moment of lucid thought be a gift from God? Could just one more breath be a gift from God?
Why don’t we see God’s gifts?
Maybe it is because we have so much. When we hear stories about being deprived we don’t relate because we have never been deprived. If we were, maybe it was a long time ago and we have worked hard to distance ourselves from that experience. Maybe it makes us uncomfortable. Why don’t more people open their arms to women and men who would cry over a roll of toilet paper? Maybe it is because we think we are better than that and we don’t want to associate with people who are in that kind of struggle. Maybe it scares us. Maybe we are greedy. We have what we have and we don’t want to share it with those who are less fortunate.
Every day the news is flooded by information about Gates, Buffet, Ellison, Koch and Walton. Maybe they give. I am sure some of them do. But do they give 90%? Le Tourneau gave 90% of the stock of his company to his foundation and he gave 90% of his personal income to Christian causes around the world.
“You mean that rich Christian fool.”
That’s what many people probably thought about him
Mr. Le Tourneau knew that everything he had belonged to God and that helped him give. It wasn’t his to begin with. He was the recipient of more and more and more and he gave more and more and more.
He understood 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
I can’t get him out of my mind. The cheerful receiver; the cheerful giver—R.G. Le Tourneau.