As Uyless Bland walked out to the mound at Globe Life Park in Arlington for Buckner Day at the Rangers, he had an entire city behind him.
The 18-year-old knows what it’s like to need that support. In 2013, his home in Goliad, Texas, burned down just days before Christmas. Bland, his mother and two brothers had nowhere to go.
The small yet motivated Goliad community rallied around the Blands to help them and within two days, they had “everything we needed except for a house,” Bland said. “It was so humbling. You’re just used to having everything you need and then it’s gone. It’s like restarting.”
In response to their generosity, Bland wanted to help others as well. He recently completed his Eagle Scout project by collecting shoes to give to Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls®.
“I really liked the message of (Buckner),” Bland said. “You’re helping people who need to be helped. I feel like everybody should take part in that.”
Goliad has one high school with about 400 students. There is one grocery store, and one medical practice. Bland put shoe collection boxes at every church, school, bank and business in town.
He received 554 pairs. Collecting that many shoes meant one of nearly every five people in town gave a pair.
Like it was Bland, the natural response of being on the receiving end of extraordinary generosity is generosity toward others. That truth hits at the heart of Christianity.
The love and sacrifice of a perfect God makes it possible for imperfect people like us to have a relationship with him. We are on the receiving end of a sacrifice that was so great, it covers the sins of all humanity. We are on the receiving end of grace that we don’t deserve.
Naturally, we’re grateful. And we want to tell others about God’s grace, love and sacrifice. The most natural way to do that is through modeling the kind of extraordinary generosity to others that God showed us.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. - Ephesians 2:10
- What words would you use to describe God's generosity in your life?
- What are some ways you can model that kind of generosity in your relationships with other people?
- Take one act of extraordinary generosity this week.