Volume 2, Issue 3, March 1995


Edmund (Readhead) has a canny ability to find strange friends. By strange I take the meaning of the word to be extraordinary, surprising, wonderful. As the poet Byron stated, "Tis strange, but true; for truth is always strange."

Edmund introduced me to a friend on Vancouver Island who showed me the strange truth that human opportunity to be generous of spirit are always present. The stranger was a deaf mute, and lived alone in a shabby shop along the highway by the sea. We'd have driven by without noticing the little store, but the folk of the community beat a path to his door.

The man was a baker, and when we entered the shop he had just finished baking some apple pies. With a smile the man set out a pad and pencil. Edmund pointed to one of the apple pies. The man wrote, "Make me an offer." With a grin, Edmund wrote a better than fair price. The man smiled and boxed the pie. While there we negotiated further and increased our larder with cookies and cakes as well.

Up the road we met with friends of Edmund's of the Qualicum native band. They insisted we stay and eat with them. They shared their food with us and we topped the meal with apple pie and cookies. There was a great deal of shared enjoyment.

In the sphere of material things, giving means being rich. It is not those who have much that are rich but those who give much. When we hold our possessions loosely and with respect so they can be used well and shared we find ourselves growing spiritually. When we are generous of spirit we find we often receive far more than we would by being cautious.

I observed my new-found silent friend was not wealthy in material things but was a rich man in friends. He created opportunities for everyone who came his way to share of themselves with him and he with them.

The next time you have an opportunity to share your skills with others ask them to make you an offer.

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"Religion NOW" is published in limited edition by the Rev. Ross E. Readhead, B.A., B.D., Certificate of Corrections, McMaster University, in the interest of furthering knowledge and participation in religion. Dialogue is invited and welcomed.