God says, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love.’ This is a fundamental truth of your identity. This is who you are whether you feel it or not. You belong to God from eternity to eternity. Life is just a little opportunity for you during a few years to say, ‘I love you too.’
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Finding My Way Home
I recently came upon this quote from the work of the late Henri Nouwen who remains an inspirational force in the effort to raise funds for the church and other charitable institutions. It struck me that here is an approach to asking for support without seeming to judge or to deliver guilt.
I know that “…God so loved the world….” I know that the Holy Eucharist is also known as The Great Thanksgiving; and why. Nouwen invites us to accept God’s love and, perhaps further, to look for signs that we are loved. And then, almost naturally, to think about how – beyond prayer – to return God’s love. In a quiet, gracious way, he sets up a feeling of gratitude which I believe is the precedent for generosity.