Charlie had his birthday at the beginning of September and one of his gifts was a gift card from my folks. He had gotten $100 Visa gift card and he thought he was hot stuff. He had never really had money before…much less on a "credit card"…much less $100!! He was stoked to say the least and his beloved gift card was pinned to our calendar in the kitchen for weeks...he was saving it for just the right thing. Fast forward to Shelby's birthday at the beginning of October, and we are at the mall for Shelby's party and Charlie had brought his gift card to go to Game Stop and buy a new game. He stood for a long time eyeing the Xbox's and asking how much they were. He shopped for ever before he finally picked out his game and bought it. He brought me his card to hold onto for him and we went on our way. He talked of saving his money up to get an Xbox…to buy new shoes…stuff for his room.
Fast forward again to two Sunday's ago. We get home from church and are at the table eating our lunch and he says to me this "I gave my $80 to Living Water. Did you know there are kids that have no water Mom? I'm gonna give them my $80 so they can have water…I have water everyday…I don't need my $80" I sat there and said to him "what made you do that Charlie?"...he said "I just felt like in my heart that was what I was supposed to do". Ric went on to explain how the Holy Spirit works in our hearts and guides us…and I cried. Not a big weepy cry, but tears were just brimming on my eye lids. He looked at me all concerned and said "mom, why are you so sad?" I told him it was a good kinda cry…the kind of cry that you do when you are overwhelmed with God and how awesome He is. I told Charlie I was proud of him…because if we are gonna be honest, and that's what I strive to do, Charlie is materialistic (and he has gotten it honest). We have created that in him…he wants all the time…he sees stuff other kids have and he asks to get it. He is always wanting the next new game system (even though he knows we won't buy it…seriously who needs a Playstation 3, Xbox, Wii, Psp). We have the Playstation 2 that I bought for Ric our 2nd Christmas and we won a Wii several years back so really??? Another one? We have been reading Radical and trying to put things into perspective in our lives about what we truly need. We have talked to the kids about downsizing…giving things away…supporting missions so that we can break the cycle of materialism. Sadly to say my first thought when I heard about his $80 was…what, you are giving your money away...all of it…you've never even had money…but God stapled my mouth shut long enough to wack me over the head so that my flesh wouldn't speak. Maybe the tears in my eyes were for my own materialism and conviction over that…for wanting to hold on to something that's not even mine in the first place…'cause in reality nothing I have is mine in the first place. But God used my little boy that afternoon…in a big way.
He showed me that the best thing about money is giving it away…the joy that it brought him was immeasurable. He knew he was helping someone in need and that blessed him. As God is shaping me…and stripping me of my selfishness and materialism…He used my 9 year old little boy to remind me, once again, what it truly is all about. In Matthew 19:21 we are told this: "Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." He could have held onto that $80 and been just like the rich young man whom the above scripture was said to. You see, that rich young man walked away from Jesus because he didn't want to give up all his riches. But Charlie lived this scripture before my eyes…he didn't have to sell anything, but he gave ALL he had…to the poor. Would I be willing to do that? Would you?
Last Sunday he took a check to his children's ministry leaders and turned in everything he had. He got some bottled water as a visual of how he helped those kids. Evidently that $80 will give 40 kids drinking water for a year…a year. $ 80 may not seem like much to some, but to 40 kids in poverty stricken areas in Africa, India, or anywhere else they dig wells…it's a whole lot. He was so excited to give his money…may I be just as excited to sacrifice "my money" and time to help those in need. May I be willing to give all I have for a bottle of water…and for the opportunity to see God do big things in the world around us.
Tiny Truth's for this Thursday~
- Having two birthday's within one month is nuts
- That Charlie takes forever to shop for a new game
- That my son was broken over kids in need of water…and we should be too
- That God calls us to give to the poor…that is one way we follow Him
- That $80 buys a whole lot of water
- That I have so far to go in my spiritual life…God continue to strip away my selfishness so that I can be used by you