“[N]ine old nanas” is what Ann Voskamp calls them. They kept their secret for thirty years. They conspired and sneaked out to do their “drive-bys” in the night–hoping no one else would ever know.
They carved money from their budgets and hid it from their husbands–almost $400 every month.
After all that time, one of their husbands finally confronted them. What in the world were they doing? What are all the strange transactions in the bank statement? Extra mileage on the car? Where is she going?
Imagine, thirty years of secrets. One husband wonders what’s going on–what’s been going on. He thinks the worst. Is she being unfaithful?
No. His wife and the rest of the nine nanas were thoroughly faithful. Their nighttime adventures were acts of ministry in secrecy.
They met needs. Sometimes for people they knew. Sometimes for complete strangers. They relished the joy of blessing others.–all sorts of ways.
Once the nanas got started, they worked at listening and looking for ways to give–for people with a need they could fill.
Voskamp: “They knew we’re not here to make an impression. We’re here to make a difference.”
It’s the kind of difference people made for me and mine when we were in need. Food on the front porch–I didn’t count how many times. And once–a blue, silk dress for me. A treasure I could not afford had I pilfered my own pennies for years.
Were the husbands angry when they found out about the Nanas’ capers? Yes. They were mad.
“[They w]anted in on the game,” Voskamp tells us. “They wanted in on writing down names and anonymously paying utility bills, delivering pound cakes and pressing beauty into this world.”
Those ladies married well.
And so the conspiracy of blessing others grew.
Perhaps in our day, it’s ill-advised to sneak out in the middle of the night and set off a security system trying to bless someone with a pound cake or the funds for an overdue bill.
But blessing others is always in fashion. And like the nanas, you and I can be creative and secretive about our giving.
We can look and listen and be ready to fill a need.
Day or night.