The day after my son Hubby’s eighth birthday was a Sunday. He was so excited to get to go to church to see his friends. Many of the adult members knew it had been his birthday the day before, and they wished him a happy birthday as well.
As we sat on the third pew waiting on the morning service to start, Mrs. Roper, a pleasant woman who always reminds me of that perfect storybook grandmother, came over to our pew. She walked her way across the pew in front of us and handed Hubby a card. He thanked her for it but did not open it yet. As she made her way out of the pew, I stopped her and told her that she didn’t have to do that and thanked her.
She explained to me that when we had first come to that church several months before, she had been taught children’s church one month. Her birthday was soon after, and my kids had noticed it in the church bulletin and had given her a card. It had impressed her that they had done that, and she had asked them when their birthdays were so that she could return the favor.
After she walked back to her pew, Hubby opened the card. Inside was a five-dollar bill. His eyes widened with surprise. He couldn’t believe it. Five whole dollars! In our home, there was no extra money for allowance, and when it did come, it was in dimes and quarters, so five dollars was a fortune to him. He showed me the bill with widened eyes in an almost speechless state. Immediately after, he went and thanked Ms. Roper.
After church that day, my daughter Diddle came to me to tell me that Hubby had placed his money in the offering plate. That morning I had scrounged out my last sixty cents from my purse and split it between my kids and their friends who had sat with us for offering. As such, I thought that she meant he has placed his coins in the plate. Then she told me that wasn’t what she meant. He had placed the only birthday money he had gotten—the $5 from Ms. Roper—in the offering plate.
I called him to me. “Hubby, what did you do with your money from Ms. Roper?”
“I put it in the offering plate,” he answered. “For the church. The church needs the money more than me.”
Yes, I know he doesn’t have bills to pay or groceries to buy. He doesn’t maintain a car or support a family. But he understood giving, and he gave all he had without question or hesitation. He gave from the heart… and that is what true giving is all about.