Ever hear the word "Charity" and feel like cracking open the dictionary to see what the literalness of the word means? Let me save you the trouble - 

char·i·ty [char-i-tee]
noun, plural char·i·ties.
generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless: to devote one’s life to charity.
something given to a person or persons in need; alms: She asked for work, not charity.
a charitable act or work.
a charitable fund, foundation, or institution: He left his estate to a charity.
benevolent feeling, especially toward those in need or in disfavor: She looked so poor that we fed her out of charity.
leniency in judging others; forbearance: She was inclined to view our selfish behavior with charity.
Christian love; agape.

(I went through a couple; Wikipedia, Merriam-Webster and a couple more but I felt that said it best. Leave it to a lady to keep searching for an answer she wants to hear!)

Back to charity. What does this mean and why is it important to us as Christians?

If we aren't generous in our actions, how will anyone see Christ?

If we aren't giving to a person in need, how will the sick, lonely, dying or naked ever see or feel the presence of their living Savior?

Christ leaves us a HUGE responsibility to do what he would do, just as he makes an act of love at every Mass as he sacrifices himself for us through His Precious Body and Blood; I think we can manage to do some sort of good here and there, don't you think?

One great blessing that living in Utah might give us is having the sweet ladies from Relief Society show up on our front doorstep and ask in the most angelic voice, "is there anything I can do for you?" If you're not one to burden people, you might say, "Thanks but I am doing just fine" or you might be wise and totally impose for some super chunky chocolate chip cookies because we all know Utah knows how to bake. 

For example: one day after arriving home from a hospital stay, the Relief Society showed up on the doorstep. They told my husband they heard news that I was going to be down for a little bit and wanted to know if they could bring in dinners to our home. Without even consulting me, my husband said that would be wonderful. I am sure he knew it would be the best he would eat, maybe ever and I am sure he took advantage of this marvelous opportunity.

The following night the doorbell rang and all three of my boys greeted the yummy taco casserole that was probably no more than 3 minutes out of the oven, as they where pretty much our direct neighbors.  We were so grateful!

                                                                                 Yummy Yummy Yummy!!!

                                                                                Yummy Yummy Yummy!!!

The following night was a different story. There was a knock on the door and a lady handed my husband ONE can of Campbell's Soup, in a grocery sack - 

                                                                                           Um? What?

                                                                                           Um? What?

When I asked my husband what was for dinner, he said one can of soup. I was so irritated. Was this a joke? I remember telling my husband, who is this person and they certainly did not meet the Relief Society standards. I was sure I already had plenty of soup in my cupboards and the premium stuff at that! Yes, I was being a super ungrateful little monster! (I'll blame that one on the meds!)

Getting to the point - When we do acts of charity, are we going to give it everything we've got? Are we gonna give the warm, cheesy, fresh, made with love taco casserole that takes preparation and time or are we gonna do a run by canning and chuck the "classic" can of noodles at our neighbors head and hope that God is watching to see us do our good deeds? 

If we can remember one special scripture, we will find good ways too be charitable each and every day.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
— Matthew 25:35-36 NIV

-What a great cup of Joe!


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Ashley GentryComment