In 2016 Wanda Dench sent a text to her grandson inviting him for Thanksgiving dinner. What she didn’t know was that her grandson had changed his phone number. The person who received the text was Jamal Hinton, a student at a nearby Mesa, Arizona, high school. Once they sent pictures of themselves to each other, they figured out the mistake. Jamal asked if he could still come over. Wanda told him, “Of course you can. That’s what grandmas do…feed everyone.”
This year they celebrate their 6th Thanksgiving together. Now Jamal brings his family and his girlfriend. Wanda says. “It’s come from God above. He is using us as tools and vessels to bring a message to others.” Of course, when she says it is from God, that means it is no accident, but an amazing grace.
Now that we are at the dusk of Thanksgiving, and the dawn of Advent, we might appreciate the way God makes lives intersect through his grace. A young mother, a carpenter, distant relatives Elizabeth and Zechariah, shepherds of the earth, angels from the heavens, learned men from afar, even a businessman keeping his inn. These are no accidents. For those who are willing to widen the table, the feast is found more joyful. We don’t need Wanda to tell us. We remember Jesus feeding the 5000. That is what God does—feed everyone.
Stewardship is often thought of as dealing with money. That is important, but narrow. Stewardship is infusing God’s perspective into all we have and do. That means that we are to steward the relationships that cross our path, too. Many of us might have thought to wish Jamal well, and maybe even told him, “Happy Thanksgiving.” Wanda, however, had the spirit of God in her. She saw this accident as opportunity for grace to shine through.
No doubt a grace-filled accident is awaiting you this holiday season. Be a good steward. Open your eyes and open your heart. Something good and lasting is coming for you, too.
For more information about stewardship, money, and the care of all God has entrusted us, contact me here or by calling us toll free at 877-391-8811.
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Director of Development
United Methodist Foundation of Indiana