Sunday, March 27, 2016

Kaeden And The Collection

I often ask the Lord to give me something to write in this nightly devotional. Today He answered my prayers when Kaeden slid in next to me on the church pew at the beginning of this morning's worship service. Kaeden is a pretty good answer to prayers- I've already written two blogs about him. Maybe I need to put him on my payroll! Four year old Kaeden has had a tough couple of weeks. Last month, he had a collision with another boy on our school playground, resulting in a broken femur. (The other child walked away practically unscathed.) Poor Kaeden ended up with surgery and then had to remain still, not the easiest task for the world's squirmiest kid! But he did fine, moving up to a tiny wheelchair and now a tiny walker. I saw on Facebook he's taken a couple of steps unaided so I'm hoping he's ready for basketball camp in June!

As we moved into the meat of the worship, Kaeden was keeping himself occupied with minimal outside assistance. But as we were coming to the part of the service where little kids get involved, his mom, Lynette, gave Kaeden one dollar for the contribution. Times have changed with inflation- I never had more than a nickel at that stage of life. But I saw Kaeden do something curious. He took the bill and put it underneath him, sitting on it where it was invisible. When the collection plate came our way and Lynette put it in front of her son, Kaeden threw his hands up in the air like, "What are you talking about?" Of course, you can't pull one over on mom so Lynette lifted him up, retrieved the bill, put it into her son's hand and waited for him to relinquish it to the Lord. It probably took fifteen seconds or so- great entertainment for me!- but Kaeden let loose and dropped it noiselessly to join the other gifts. I was almost sad when it was over. Lynette was whispering to her son, using it as a teachable moment. He'll get it. His mom and his dad, Kenneth, are incredibly good parents who are teaching their kids all the time. And he's four.

Funny how adults mimic Kaeden in our view of money. We think we can hide it from the Heavenly Parent and brush off the command to be generous. And as Kaeden would have nothing to offer if Lynette had not supplied the bill, so our ability to give comes from the blessings God gives us. Generosity is a trait praised throughout the scriptures, from beginning to end. And yet we worry there won't be enough for next week. I know Kaeden can't reason through all this yet but I would guess his parents have never failed to supply him with a charitable contribution. I always tell my students that when Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell everything and give it away before following Him, He did not instruct the man to give it to the temple or the priest. He told him to give it the poor. But it's obvious the wealthy stranger couldn't let what he had go, just like Kaeden. It's a struggle for many of us. The O'Jays made a lot of money by singing a song, "For The Love Of Money,"  which preaches the evil of the mean green. Ironic isn't it? All I know is I'm planning to book a seat next to Kaeden every Sunday morning in the foreseeable future. The Lord blesses me in more ways than simply with money.

Applicable quote of the day:
As base a thing as money often is, yet it can be transmuted into everlasting treasure. It can be converted into food for the hungry and clothing for the poor. It can keep a missionary actively winning lost men to the light of the gospel and thus transmute itself into heavenly values. Any temporal possession can be turned into everlasting wealth. Whatever is given to Christ is immediately touched with immortality.”
A.W. Tozer

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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