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MORE THAN SPARE CHANGE

Posted on Sat, Jan 24, 2009

More than just spare change… I pit stopped at a Mac’s store to stock up on my latest habit, when I was confronted by a dishevelled lady looking for some change. I began to filter through my wallet, all the while, contemplating what would be a suffice amount to give to her. After all, my pride was at stake. Many times in these predicaments—and there have been many where I am from—I get caught up in the presumption of what they are going to use MY change for. Will they use it for alcohol? Drugs? Is it really for me to know? As I fumbled for “enough” change, God interjected with a reminder that I had just received a sizable profit sharing check from my employer. I don’t know about you, but when God speaks, be it with words of encouragement or correction, my allegiance to my heavenly home rises up and I am prompted to move. I asked the lady to stay where she was and I went into the Mac’s store and withdrew $40 dollars. I then went outside and asked her to come into the store where there was an adjoining Subway, and asked her if I could by her something to eat. When she received her meal, I also handed her the money. She began to cry and explained that she wasn’t going to use it for drugs or alcohol, but that she was sick. You see she was HIV positive and she explained that there are days that she just can’t get out of bed. She explained that she has a son whom she also cares for and respectfully declined eating the subway sandwich, as she was going to be taking it back for him. Of course I did tell her there is a better way, and I am sure she has been preached at many times before when she responded with “Ya I know Jesus.” But I didn’t really have to say anything at all, as I had hoped that Jesus would have been proud of my willingness to obey. I gave her a very warm and embracing hug, and in that moment, what I felt was far more elating than any sums of money could have done. As she walked away with 2 days’ worth of what she considered her minimum daily quota, I could only thank God for this amazing opportunity to be used as one of his vessels so that a glimpse of his image could emanate through me; that though she had been the one humbly asking for a need to be met, I was the one that received the most. My only regret is that I didn’t give her more. With that said, I would like to share a quote I had found in Brennan Manning’s A Stranger to Self-Hatred: “By accepting them as equals Jesus had taken away their shame, humiliation and guilt. By showing them that they mattered to him as people, he gave them a sense of dignity and released them from their old captivity. The physical contact which he must have had with them at the table and which he obviously never dreamed of disallowing must have made them feel clean and acceptable…they would have interpreted His gesture of friendship as God’s approval on them. Their sinfulness, ignorance and uncleanness had been overlooked and were no longer being held against them. Who has given you more than just spare change? Who have you given more than just spare change to? J.


   Discussion: MORE THAN SPARE CHANGE
Jordan (anonymous) (anon) · 11 years, 9 months ago
I hope it is no bother that I continue to write. I notice that not many people do, so I thought I would share some of my journey's stories. Whether you use them or not is okay by me. I just like to write, and pray that they will touch someone. Thank you. What is my purpose? I have been rather discouraged in the last little while. I reflect on incidents where I should have utilized more wisdom, but wrestle with the surrender in knowing that I am not above God’s plans. Patience is definitely not my ripest fruit, and waiting is like hoping against the alternative of despair. What is my purpose? What is my calling? I once again lean in favor of the truth, and find the circumstances the same. Distance and uncertainty. But through all of this, I am to press on, keep the faith, and wait. Yesterday I had to wait before I started work and decided to venture on over to a nearby Tim Horton’s. I entered the building and off to my left heard a barely audible voice saying “Excuse me, but do you have some spare change.” My peripheral vision only caught a faint outline as I didn’t even bother to stop, but just went inside. I checked my change and something prompted me to just give the man the 5 dollar bill that was in my wallet. I went to grab the bill, but the 5 dollars was actually a 20. God said, “Give it to him.” I studied that moment, because it was God. Once again, he turned the unexpected into something that would be so beneficial, and I couldn’t wait to get back outside. When I approached the man, I asked him if he needing some change. He immediately broke into an “I am trying to catch the bus and I lost my…” I just handed him the money. I didn’t wait for him to finish his story, because it wasn’t for me to know. He responded with “Are you serious? Thank you!” and I replied, “Don’t thank me, thank God, He told me to give it to you.” I left feeling very grateful to God, for using me. I watched as the man ran across the parking lot, and all I kept wondering is, did I move enough aside for God to emanate through me. I am not an “in your face” type of Christian. In fact, I am probably the quietest one sitting in the chairs, hoping for an inflowing of the Spirit that will knock all fears aside and allow such a freedom to transpire. I am reading this book right now called “Jesus Mean and Wild” by Mark Galli. In it, he quotes, “We have to die to our notions of relevance and success and let God—through a crucified Savior, through and amateurish church, through a stiff communion service—raise up his people when he will and how he will, with a power and glory we can hardly imagine.” Giving money to that man, may not have been relevant or seething with success, but that is how God used me. And I realize that God does answer my prayers, it just isn’t the way I always envision. But I will keep waiting, and learn to be grateful for the small tasks that He entrusts me with.

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