“Twenty five cents…a quarter. Two quarters better if you have ’em” a voice called out.
I turned and saw an older black man with a serious wandering eye coming towards me from a parking lot.
“You want a quarter?” Frankly I thought the man was had made a mistake. A quarter wouldn’t buy anything but a gum ball– and it wasn’t like there were tons of other people around to ask. Was he stuck in the 70’s?
The man nodded and repeated himself. Indeed he wanted a quarter.
Normally I didn’t carry cash to avoid the temptation of buying things I didn’t need. But it just so happens that on that day I had a dollar; four times the requested toll.
Wearing my long down coat, hood up for protection from the spitting damp wind, I proceeded at an aerodynamic angle– headlong like a goose back to my office after what was, with the exception of the light April shower and the encounter, a pleasant lunch time walk.
Returning to my cubicle I thought of the sterile transaction that had occurred down the street– how the man had awkwardly thanked me and in response I’d uttered a reflexive “God bless you” and scurried off. Without stopping to really look the man in the eyes… without so much as a smile, I had given him my lousy dollar.
“I think I just short-changed Jesus” I whispered under my breath.
It is so easy to fall short.
2 Corinthians 9:7 (ESV) Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.