As an upfront disclosure, I wrestled with whether or not to share this story. I’m sensitive to the warning of people bragging about giving (see Matthew 6.1-4). But, I’m more fearful of when giving goes too silent, because if it is done with the right heart, I think giving stories can encourage others to give more – and this is why I choose to share this giving story with you.
Last night I walked down to the CVS store, about a block from our home, to get Lydia some cold medicine and ice cream. I had $6 on me in cash, and so I realized that I would need to use our debit card to make the purchases. As I was checking out, I subconsciously heard to my left the following conversation:
Cashier: “That brings your total to $8.61 [or something close to that].”
Girl: “Oh. [Silence] Can we put the milk back then?”
Cashier: “Sure. [Clicking away] That brings your new total to $6.10 [or something close to that].”
Girl: “Oh. [Silence].”
At this point I looked over, as it was kind of embarassing, as a number of people were looking at the scene, including me for the first time. I saw two girls, maybe 16 and 14, in not the cleanest or most stylist of clothes, both looking at a single $5 bill held in the older one’s hands.
Girl: “I thought Mom said this would be enough. Can we put the [other drink- I forget what] back?”
The Holy Spirit (and I say this with conviction) then took over. I had finished signing my own receipt, and as I was putting it in my money clip took out my own $5 bill, and tried to give it to the girls’ cashier, who evidently was dumbfounded because she just looked at me blankly. I then turned to the girl closest to me
Me: “Here, I think this should be enough.”
Girl: “Are .. you sure?”
Me: “Yeah, it’s no problem.”
Girl: “Thank you. Thank you so much.”
The cashier took the bill from the girl and proceeded to get the change, and I told the girls to just keep the change.
I walked out of that building, still feeling the girls’ eyes on me, and onto Lemon St feeling high. I couldn’t stop smiling. I was so happy. Five dollars. I had to constrain myself from just bursting out with joyous laughter. I think it was, in all honesty, one of the few times I was actually filled with the Spirit, and it was simply exhilarating. I was literally the hands of Jesus in that brief moment. God used me, I obeyed, and He flooded my heart with indescribable joy.
I got home, told Lydia the story, and couldn’t keep my eyes dry. I have no idea how this is sounding to you, Jack, but it was unbelievably … good. And all it took was $5. Keep this in mind as you go about your everyday business, Jack. You never know when the Spirit is going to prompt you – and when He does, be ready to respond and be ready to be happy.