Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Toddler's Mite

My 3-year-old found a nickel on the floor this morning. With excitement and anticipation, he held up his prize for me to see. "Mommy, I found some money!" Now, we have not discussed money with him. He knows his piggy bank clinks when he shakes it, and clinks louder when you add a coin, but as for the purpose, he's clueless. Or so I thought. I suggested to him that we should go put it in his piggy bank, and then he shocked me. He started to cry. Baffled, I tried to decipher what the problem was through his sobs and howls. Finally, I got it. "N-o-o-o-o. That's for c-h-u-r-c-h!!"

My immediate and humored thoughts went something like this:
"Easy for him to say! He doesn't know what else he could do with that money. I bet if I gave him a choice of putting that nickel in the offering plate or buying a lollipop at the store, he wouldn't have to think long on that one!"

How jaded we become. How selfish. Instead of a desperate desire to give and help others, we try to hoard it for ourselves. When giving to church or a charity, we consider "what else [we] could do with that money" before determining how much we will give. No wonder Jesus says we must come to him as little children. Oh, to return to that simple joy at being able to put a coin in the plate. My toddler will put his precious mite in the plate this Sunday. Perhaps we adults should follow the lead of a child after all.

And he said, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3)

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