“Mother Beth,” he said with a sense of purpose that made me wonder what he wanted.
He held up his hand. “When is the basket?” he asked. There was a pause before he told me, “I have 10 cents.”
It was then that I saw the two nickels he pressed together carefully, holding them between his thumb and forefinger.
I pointed to a young boy named Skylar, who was visiting and eager to be put to work. “Watch for this young man. He’ll come around with it in just a minute.”
The man turned away and headed back to his perch along the low wall. I had a sinking feeling, wondering if I should have dispensed with the order of things to receive his offering on the spot. “God bless you!” I called to him.
That willingness to surrender all is humbling to behold.
I caught a glimpse of it in the fresh-faced young boy who wanted to be of service, even here in this parking-lot community that he was experiencing for the very first time.
I saw it in the vulnerable, pleading face of a downtrodden man who reached out, eager to be a part of, to give what he could.
And I saw it last Wednesday evening, when I shared my sense of call with two small congregations, west of Jacksonville. As is their custom, a small basket was set out during communion. Our “church without walls” ministry received its largest love offering ever.
Sometimes we can diminish what we have to offer so that it seems almost pointless to bother. But deep down within us we have a need to give, to connect. The imprint of God is in us. It is our nature to be generous. To throw caution to the wind. To give freely.
Lately, I am feeling a little weighed down. A tad weary. Like I don’t have any more to give. But, if I dig down, I know I can find my two nickels. And, for now, that will be enough.