I love the story of the Widow’s mite in Luke 21:1-3, “As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘I tell you the truth,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.'”
If I could get into a time machine I’d love to go back and watch the looks on the faces of the disciples as Jesus explained to them what real giving is all about. It’s not about giving out of an excess of money but an excess of generosity.
Last night Jeremy (my sweet and quirky seven year old) demonstrated this to me as I put him to bed. The conversation went something like this,
“Jeremy, did you have a great Christmas?”
“Yes daddy, thank you for the presents you and mommy gave me.”
“Sure Jeremy. Just remember what Christmas is all about.”
“I know daddy. It’s about Jesus”…then just out of the blue he said, “Daddy I’ve been thinking about Dare 2 Share lately.”
“Okay” I said, not understanding the abrupt switch in the subject of our Christmas conversation.
He continued, “I know that Dare 2 Share needs money right now. You and I can go out and set up a stand on the sidewalk and tell everyone who goes by that Dare 2 Share needs money. They will give and we can get all of the money you need to do the conferences. Maybe we can go door to door and collect money for Dare 2 Share. Don’t worry daddy, I’ll do all the talking. I’m a kid and they will listen to me.”
I didn’t understand why he was bringing all of this up and then I began to realize that he has heard all my prayers these last few months for God’s financial provision for the ministry of Dare 2 Share. Everyday when I drop him off at school I pray for him, his mommy, his sister and for God to come through in a big way for the ministry. The economy has been seriously impacting us. Donations are way down compared to last year. To be honest I didn’t think that that part of my prayer was getting through to Jeremy in our daily prayers and that’s fine. After all, when I pray in the car with my kids I’m talking to God not them.
But it was getting through. Jeremy must have been ruminating on our situation at Dare 2 Share for awhile. So, as we laid there together on his bed, he continued his fundraising brainstorm,
“Daddy what do you think? Can we start going door to door tomorrow?”
“Uh, Jeremy, those are all great ideas. Let’s keep thinking and praying about what we can do to raise money for Dare 2 Share. Thank you for being concerned.”
And then out of the blue he blurted something that choked me up good, “Daddy, I am going to give you all the money I have saved for toys. I’ve been thinking about it. I don’t need any more toys. Dare 2 Share needs the money and I’m going to give all my money to you to give to Dare 2 Share. Will you take all my money daddy and give it to Dare 2 Share?”
“Of course I will Jeremy. I am so proud of you.”
I am and I will. When I get home today (I’m typing this from Starbucks) I am going to take down his piggy bank and empty it out. Monday morning I’m going to march it into our office and give it to the powers that be. That money is sacred money. It probably will amount to three dollars and fifty six cents but it represents all the money that my little boy has and he has given it as a gift to God through the ministry of Dare 2 Share. I would not dare rob him of the joy of giving like the Widow did in Luke 21.
Now before you think of me as a cold hearted daddy who would dare take every penny from his kid’s piggybank just know this, I am convinced that Jeremy will be blessed way beyond the gift that he has given. God will honor his sacrifice for the cause of Christ. I’m not taking this gift because $3.56 will make any significant difference. I’m taking his gift because Dare 2 Share needs this kind of donor, ones that are willing to dig deep out of a heart of generosity.
God will provide for the needs of Dare 2 Share. I am confident that as long as we have donors like Jeremy in the pipeline (and we do have other donors like Jeremy) we are going to be taken care of. Why? Because of the generosity that this kind of generosity inspires and because of the divine blessing that these kinds of gifts trigger! I believe God will bless and multiply my little boy’s gift like he did the loaves and fishes of the little boy in the crowd of 5,000 in John 6. God will take the fact that little Jeremy emptied out his entire “lunch box” for the sake of the kingdom, his handful of loaves and fishes so to speak, and exponentially expand its impact. There will be baskets left over because his gift was a gift from the heart. It was a gift of everything he had.
I love my boy.
I love God’s kingdom.
I love the privilege of giving and I’m going to give more as a result of Jeremy’s example.
May his generosity inspire you as well this holiday season.