How do I accept this donation? I am taking what he has. He doesn't have enough to buy his own pair of socks! Yet here he is offering this $1.40 to be put towards our expenses for our Donuts and Friends Program. He Is giving what he can't afford to make sure we have enough to help others. I take his money, and he smiles. He is not getting a hand out any longer. He is giving to the work for the Lord with the homeless.
This happened at the last Donuts with Friends we did in Fort Collins. The gentleman I reference is real, he had no money, he was not a clean person and most people would look at him as a "bum." But he had the heart to give what he could...to pay it forward...giving to help others in need.
It reminded me of Mark 12 41-44 "Sitting across from the offering box, he was observing how the crowd tossed money in the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came and put in two small coins - a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, "The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they'll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn't afford - she gave her all." (MSG)
We have seen this kind of giving before. One Saturday morning we were serving donuts and coffee to the homeless in Fort Collins. There was a group of young men sitting in the park with a partial case of water. One of the young men walked over to our coffee and donuts table and asked if we would share the water with the other needy people in the park. He explained that the water had been dropped off at the park for all the homeless and it wasn't meant just for his small group! All I could think was WOW, would I give it up so easily?
There was another time another person came up to me and gave me back a pair of socks because he had a clean pair in his backpack and "he knew" someone else could use them that didn't have any good socks. It is humbling and encouraging to see this attitude from so many that have so little. It is sometimes hard to give from our plenty, we want to go to dinner, we want to see the latest movie, or buy that thing that we have seen so many times on television.
Lord help us to have the giving attitude, the soft hearts, the attitude of how blessed we truly are, and how you see our giving.
If you want to see the $1.40 when you come to the ranch I still have it, under my desk blotter as a daily reminder of that gentleman and how he taught about giving extravagantly what he could not afford.
Anita Rennells is the author of this blog. She and her husband have moved to Colorado when Ed retired and are in the process of opening a ranch to help homeless young adults.
Soaring Wings Ministries