When my daughters and I spent a few hours ringing a Salvation Army bell we witnessed a lot of generous givers. 118 of them to be exact. However, there was one that stood out then… and now, days later.
That generous giver was a little boy… maybe 5 or 6 years old. His mom and dad shuffled past the red kettle and he said, “Hold on. I wanna put some money in.”
“You don’t have any money. Come on,” his mom replied.
“Yes, I do,” the boy insisted as he plunged his hand into his inner coat pocket. His hand came out full of stuff.
“You can’t put a stick in,” his dad said after seeing what was in his grip.
“Hold on,” the little boy insisted as he sorted through the stick, candy wrappers, and lint in his hand. What he came up with was a penny. A single, shiny penny.
His face beamed as he dropped it in the red kettle. My daughters and I thanked him and wished him a Merry Christmas. He smiled and said, “Merry Christmas,” back to us and then darted into the store.
I’ve thought a lot about that boy and that penny. About how happy he was to give. How that penny is his world was worth as much as the 20 dollar bills other people donated.
He reminded me that it’s good to give from your heart and to be happy when you give. In my mind, his donation made our whole two hours of bell ringing in the cold and snow worth it.
That little boy was a real world example of 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV).
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.