When I peeled opened the envelope and witnessed what was inside, I choked-up.
I’m not a “crier” as my friends will tell you, but this single piece of post left me a little bit lost for words with tears in my eyes. It was a message of support for Fusion, with a cheque for a small sum of money, wrapped around a hand-written letter, sent to help in the cause to reach my generation of students. It was from a lady approaching eighty.
Eighty. Which means, that by time the generation she is supporting have grown up, by time all their experiences at University have really come to fruition when lived-out in the years following their studies...Grandma might not be around to see it. My Gran who doesn’t live near a university, doesn’t have many students in her church, and who only heard of Fusion when I got my job a few months back, felt prompted to give though she has no thoughts of being able to receive anything in return.
Grandma gave freely to a movement in churches and with students that will outrun her lifetime, but more than that, she also gave out of what she does not have. It’s genuinely not easy for her, on her own with a modest pension, multiple grandkids, winter drawing in “and a church to support!” as she says. Reminds me of the widow Jesus sees giving way above what she can afford: “but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” (Mark 12).
I think that’s partly why I cried.
What does it cost to see this generation of students live a life of purpose because someone was actually there to tell them they were created? A hand-written letter, laced with prayers, and a cheque that will cost. What does it take for us “young people” who haven’t had much life experience, but have experienced life to the full through Jesus, to be released to go for it, further and faster than the church has ever seen before? The sacrifice of an eighty year old widow to see her ceiling become my generation’s floor, by giving back what God has given her.
I feel totally and utterly humbled by my Grandma. The work of Fusion to reach students with the message of Jesus through the local church has grown so fast that supply and demand haven’t kept up with finances and so we’re in real need of support right now. Whilst I’m asking students and graduates to invest in our generation, my Gran stops me in my tracks and brings me to my knees with how she, above many other more likely candidates, has got the vision for what God is doing and “has put more into the treasury than all the others”.
It’s making me reassess my “generosity”. I wonder whether it challenges you and your student loan? Either way, to know that our grandparent’s generation are cheering us lot on with prayers and gifts and radical acts of sacrifice makes me more determined than ever to run this race well. I pray I grow up to be more like Grandma.