I don’t charge a fee when I speak. I usually receive an honorarium anyway, in appreciation, but not always. When I am asked what an appropriate amount would be I reply, “Just send a thank you note.”
I have a drawer full of them. The money I’ve been given has been spent. But the notes are all still there. They remind me of all the people I’ve met over the years – people God spoke to using my mouth. People God loves.
I told God early on that I prefer to be paid in fruit. Several years later, after speaking at a woman’s retreat in Virginia, I was. Literally. At the end of the weekend they presented me with a large basket of fruit. Tucked among the apples and grapes was a large jar of local honey and some locally made peach preserves.
God and I smiled at one another as I received the gift. I LOVED it!
I relayed that story to a group of women in a Bible study once. One of the women in the group criticized me for not being grateful for the gift. She completely missed my point. Funny how we sometimes listen with prejudiced ears, project our stuff and our preconceived notions onto others. Fail to ask for clarification.
I just smiled.
In a few weeks the hub and I get to celebrate with a living, breathing peach. Joe was part of the young adult group that came to our house every other Sunday evening for dinner and Bible study. He was a brand new believer and a sheer delight. It was when we rented him our condo for several months that we saw fully what a fine young man he is – full of respect and integrity. The last time we saw him was two years ago at his college graduation party.
And now he is getting married. On May 2 we will drive an hour to attend a couples shower. And then in June we will head to Traverse City for his wedding.
My happy heart thanks you, Lord, for the privilege of meeting Joe when he was a babe in You. For keeping the hub and I somewhat connected to him and allowing us to see his growth and all the fruit he will produce in his life. For the honor of rejoicing with him as he embarks on marriage. For the wonderful example he has seen in his parents.
We get to be witnesses to young, healthy, hearty, hopeful love.
Thank You, thank You for that.