like helping mom make cookies

Elyria, OH

In church Sunday, as the usher approached with the offering basket, I saw a man in the pew in front of me hand a dollar bill to his young daughter. She then eagerly reached out and dropped it in the basket.

And I thought that was like our "good work" in this world. It's not as if God needs our hands or our effort to accomplish his purposes. I'm sure our actual achievement usually falls far short of the Spirit's inspiration in us. So why try to use us at all? I think it's very much like a mother inviting her child to help her make cookies; she doesn't need the help, but she wants to include the child. Because she loves him. And even though the child is inefficient and messes up, the mother can make it come out right, and she wants to share the joy of what she is doing.

Similarly, the father included his daughter in his giving. I wonder if we would be more cheerful givers if we saw our lives like that man and his daughter? God gives to us freely, so that we can pass it along to others.

Yesterday morning, as I approached a bus stop, a man was asking a young woman for money. When she said no he immediately turned to me, repeating, "You got a little change for a cup of coffee?" Before I could reply the woman practically yelled. "Don't do it! He's lying!" Then the man started arguing with her and I continued on.

But I thought about that scene. What if, as she yelled, I stopped and gave her five dollars, saying she could give it to the man or do whatever she wanted with it? I'm not sure if that would have made any difference (she may have had bad experiences with this man before). But it's an interesting thought...