By Felicia Davis
Pastor Nancy Keys will always hold dear to my heart. She had a spirit of boldness, of love, and of mercy. She wasn’t all about lectures because she walked her talk. Of all her beautiful qualities, one that stood out the most for me was her joy in giving. I’ve witnessed her donate finances, show kindness in trying moments and take the time to counsel with her godly wisdom.
Retrospectively, I felt so impressed by her generosity because my ways were so unlike hers. I had no idea that life would show me that I, too, am blessed with the power to give.
I used to be a very stingy person. I selfishly clung to my material possessions for fear of losing what I had acquired. As a result of my foolish spending habits, I went through money very quickly. Eventually, my money ran out. In deep despair, I found myself facing homelessness. Since my family had crises of their own, I was alone and had to rely on strangers for my survival.
When you’re homeless, the roof over your head, the food you eat, the clothes on your back and other essential needs are provided by people who may or may not care about you.
Throughout my struggles, I’ve come across gracious individuals who enjoy supplying to those in need. I’ve seen cheerful folks whose smile relates joy in just being able to give. I’ve encountered men and women who treat everyone equal regardless of their status. I prayed many times for an opportunity to somehow pay these people back. I thought that if I had money, I could make a financial contribution to the same charitable causes that helped me make it through tough times.
After I finally found a place to stay, I began to do some soul-searching and discovered that I had skills and experience that others could gain from. My secretarial background gave me a love for computers and I could volunteer as a computer instructor. I spoke with the director of the senior community center down the street from where I lived and explained a little about my past and my work history. Without hesitation, he gave me my first teaching opportunity.
It’s been several years now that I have worked part-time as a computer instructor to the senior community. My students have learned social networking, email, solitaire games and how to keep up with their loved ones online. I’m so proud and excited that I get to share my love of computers with others in the world, and I am told time after time how much I am appreciated.
I may not have a big check to write, but I can give me. The talents I’ve been blessed with are meant to be shared with others. I believe there is power in giving without expecting anything in return. I found out Pastor Key’s secret to a joy within that no one can take away.
Felicia Davis is a resident of Roberts Hall, St. Vincent de Paul’s dormitory residence for formerly homeless women. Her article previously appeared at http://thisibelieve.org.