By Deb Webber
Community Purse Board Member 

I remember tears coming to my eyes when I read a story about a “poor” family who had been moved to sacrificial generosity when they heard about a needy family in their church. Their pastor had appealed for a special offering to be brought to the Christmas Eve service for the destitute family.

The family sat down around their kitchen table that evening to plan how they could scrimp and save all month in order to participate in the gift. They ate more simply than ever and agreed to skip Christmas gifts to one another – so that the needy family would have a good Christmas. Finally, Christmas Eve came and they were excited when they counted the money before leaving for the service. And, so happy when the basket came down their pew and they put their envelope in.

Later at home that night, the doorbell rang. At the door stood the pastor with an envelope holding just a few dollars more than their gift. For them. They were crushed. They went from being delighted to give, to being shamed. They had felt rich. Now they felt poor and pitied.

At times in my life, I have been “rich”. I have also been “poor”. I suppose I have been envied at times and pitied at times. I hope that I will always remember that God is my provider and allow the “rich” as well as the “poor” to be His hands and feet to deliver His provision to me.