Carole and I have always had what we call an ‘open door policy,’ meaning that our doors are always open to our friends to come in and share life together. This wasn’t our idea, we got it from friends who made sure that I knew I was welcome in their home,and would often come downstairs in the morning to find me sleeping on their couch or starting their coffee maker. During university it was other students who came through our doors, since then it’s been our friends and our friends’ kids. We are trying to live our lives with open hands. We want our hands to be open to give what we have and to live ‘erring on the side of generosity,’ to use another friend’s phrase.
We also want to have our hands open to receive. I believe that to be a good giver you need to be a good receiver. It takes humility to receive from others. Pride often comes in the way of receiving from people and we have to suffer some humiliation in order to receive well. We have been on the receiving end of many people’s generosity and it is humbling. Sometimes we feel like beggars, always asking for help to be in the mission field. Coming home earlier than we’d hoped has been humbling and once again we are on the receiving side of other’s generosity.