The Best $5 I Ever Spent

Dear Jack,

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.



One thought on “The Best $5 I Ever Spent”

  1. I came to your blog via a “Follow Friday” suggestion on Twitter. Thanks for the story of the five dollar gift. We run the risk of sounding self-promoting we we testify of such things, but you did it with much grace. I was smiling along with you as I read of your walk down Lemon Street. Thanks for sharing – I am now encouraged to yield to the Spirit’s prompting too.

    By the way, I believe you will meet your Jack one day and your notes and posts will shape his life.

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