It was a special day.
I can’t remember how old I was – I was young, probably ten, and I had just started going to “grown-up” church with my parents. It was a great privilege, and a great responsibility. And I was expected to BEHAVE…
I was a good girl (for the most part), and quiet. I knew how to BEHAVE!
And just in case I forgot – I knew I could count on the “low-brow” from my dad. You know the look – the one that’s kind of a frown, mixed with a little bit of menace – the one that says, “Just keep going in that direction, young lady, and there will be consequences to pay…”
I rarely needed the “low-brow” –
But I digress.
This Sunday was especially special because my mom had given me a nice, new $5 bill to put into the offering plate! FIVE WHOLE DOLLARS! And I had brought my very own wallet just for this auspicious occasion.
I remember waiting for the offering prayer, and the offering hymn.
I remember waiting for the plate to be passed.
I remember waiting for MY turn…
And then I reached into my wallet…and pulled out my money…and put it into the plate. So proud, so grown-up, so…
As I stared at the plate, all I saw was a nice, new $20 bill. TWENTY DOLLARS! My brand-new, birthday gift, first-ever TWENTY DOLLAR bill. (Did I mention…$20?!?!) I held on to the offering plate, and held on, and held on. I couldn't let go. I felt my mom nudge me – I saw my dad give me the “low-brow” – I felt the person next to me take the offering plate from my frozen little hands…
I started to cry…quietly, but so, so, sad –
My mom noticed my tears (she always noticed me…she still does) – she did the “shush” sign, and took my hand. She didn’t know what was wrong, but she knew I was upset. She whispered, “We’ll talk about it later…”
After church, I told her what had happened.
“Mom, I accidentally put my $20 bill in there, instead of the $5 you gave me. What am I going to do?”
She paused a moment…
And then, in a wonderful moment of “Mom Wisdom” she said, “Sweetheart, maybe God just knew that someone needed $20 today, instead of $5. You had a chance to be a blessing.”
I’ll never forget that moment. My sadness turned to joy. I felt HAPPY! God had taken my mistake, and changed a little girl’s mind about giving.
2 Corinthians 9 has some wonderful things to say about giving generously. It's worth reading. But I will share just a few verses:
Verse 6: “…the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.”
Verse 7: “And don’t give reluctantly…For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
Verse 8: “…God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.”
Verse 9: “Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”
It truly is better to give than to receive!
(P.S. My mom made sure that my birthday “gift” was paid back – just like God will return a blessing to those who give!)
BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”