By Joann Condit of Phoenix, AZ, USA
The Lord judges the people; judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me. I will give the thanks due to God’s righteousness, and sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High. —Psalm 7:8, 17 NRSV, adapted
Years ago when Clay and I married, we joined a fundraiser to finish the church’s Auditorium in Independence. The church provided families with a small metal can—a bank—to collect stray coins or perhaps larger sums. When the bank was full, we sent the money to the Presiding Bishopric, earmarked for the work on the headquarters building.
Although just out of school and newly employed, we found we could manage to add our little contribution regularly. Admittedly, our bank held mostly coins, but then…coins do add up. Our bank was gaining a respectable weight.
In those early years I often put money aside for some special need. Since we married only months before, there were many needs for our new household. One day I found a crisp, new five-dollar bill I had stashed in my wallet. It was a good sum in 1952. I knew it was there for something I must need, but I could not remember what it was.
I thought about this for several days without success. So one day I took the bill and folded it tightly to push through the slot in the top of the bank. The very moment it escaped my pinching fingers, I remembered! And yes, it was something I felt was important. I even tried to pluck it out with tweezers—a futile effort. My special savings would soon be on its way to put carpeting or seats or lighting in the Auditorium.
Oddly enough, I never missed the item I had wanted so badly. This has remained true many times in the long journey of my life. When we give to God’s work, we are blessed by the giving. We never miss what we share to meet the needs of others. That’s a promise—you can bank on it!
Prayer for Peace
Generous God, help us give without hesitation and without regret. Let us not hesitate to work for peace.
Stand, if possible, with arms outstretched. Imagine God filling your arms with all that you have: family, friends, and possessions. Hold out your arms until they feel tired. Now, bring your arms across your body. Place your hand over your heart and thank God for the goodness that fills your life. Sit for a time aware of God’s grace. Then ask God to help you open your heart in gratitude and share freely with others.
Today, God, I will remember that I can’t take it back, and I can’t take it with me— so I give (it) up!