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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday paper headlines: doing good deeds and keeping the change

Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds and to be generous and willing to share. 1 Timothy 6:18

The Sunday Paper

The Atlanta Journal-Constitiution
 on the corner
On any given Sunday in metro-Atlanta paper-men and women combat Mother Nature – rain, heat or snow – hustling the paper.  For a couple of years Atlanta’s newspaper - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution have peddled their weekend edition on street corners. As with most commodities – unlike salaries – the Sunday newspaper increased its price to one dollar and fifty cents. 

In today’s economy there are not many items with a price tag of 50 cents. Two quarters, five dimes, ten nickels or fifty pennies – no matter how you count it it’s fifty cents. Noisy currency change that can wear a hole in pockets over time!

Unexpected kindness

Each Sunday after church my routine – head to the corner and grab a paper–I love the coupons. This particular Sunday it was raining cats and dogs. Drenched, my paper-man approached with a smile. While he searched for change the Lord laid on my heart to do something extraordinary.  Opposed to waiting and allowing my man to get soaked I gave two dollars and told him “keep the change.”

The Widow’s offering

This small gesture reminded me of the widow’s offering – Mark 12: 41-44. Many rich people threw in large amounts but a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins… This poor widow put in more than all the others.
Please understand I am not being a boastful Pharisee. The point I am conveying is my four bits may not seem like much but to someone else it could mean the world. Giving a little from the heart can go a long way.

God is pleased with good deeds

The book of Hebrews – 13:16 – reminds us not to forget to do good and share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Be encouraged, find ways to give from the heart or bless someone. So, the next time you purchase a paper, cup of coffee, or see a homeless person give them the change because God loves a cheerful giver.

Unsuspected recipients

Keep the change
I have continued the goodwill gesture of “keeping the change” for six months. The overall reaction from unsuspected recipients - amazed, peppered with genuine “I really appreciate this very much.” Yet, on occasion there are those who don’t say a thing. But it is the gleeful smile from a teenage girl which reassures me that my fifty cents does make a difference. I drive away thanking God for another opportunity share with others even if it is just spare change – fifty cents.

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