What are your earliest impressions regarding acts of charity? The previous post, “Acts of Charity/Paying Dues” describes one. Here’s another.
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GAZING OUT THE SIDE WINDOW of a rented school bus while other VBS kids are still climbing onboard, crowding in, I see my father pass something to the head teacher, quickly. They are standing just below my window.
“A treat….some of these kids never get the chance….,” I hear him say.
I had seen the tip of a bill in his hand while waiting in line to board and asked him about it. “Oh, I meant to put that somewhere. I’ll take care of it soon as I’ve got you and your sister on here.” But here he is, giving it to the teacher.
Later in the day, on our way back from the outing, the bus makes an unexpected stop. A Dairy Queen. A special surprise treat – ice cream cones for everyone! All we have to do is step up to the window and say whether we prefer vanilla or chocolate.
A number of the kids seem a little lost, unsure what to do.
(But my little sister and I knew all-too-well how to navigate a Dairy Queen and offered guidance to those slowing down the proceedings. Oy, such life skills! :-))
When I told my father about all this later, he played dumb. When I mentioned the money I’d seen him give the teacher, he said, “Gas money.” I stopped pressing him. It was clear he didn’t want me to know. I understood more about this as I grew up, that giving is not about show. It’s not about casting light on the giver.
“But when you give to the needy,
do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”
– Matthew 6:3 NIV
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