Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Picking Up the Change

Yesterday after service, I found myself engaged in a variety of different conversations.  At one point, I was standing beside the line for lunch and I saw the sweet face of my son barreling down the corridor.  Excited to tell me all about Sunday school and hand me his papers, he suddenly dropped his little metal tin.  Some months back, Ham made a collection box out of an old mint tin.  Each week after receiving his allowance, he places 10% in his tin to bring to church on Sunday morning.  When coins are found around the house, they rarely hit the piggy bank, but instead find their way directly to the tin.  As you can then imagine, one of his favorite things about Sunday mornings is bringing his tin and “emptying it so he can fill it up again.”
            When the tin hit the tile, the top opened and out spilled his collection.  With arms filled with papers, his little eyes expanded instantly and looked at me with piercing helplessness.  What else could I do but stop what I was doing and hit the tile?  While on the floor picking up the change, I noticed I was not alone.  Several others stopped, even got out of line, to bend down and lend a hand with Aidan’s change.  Soon it was together again, back in his tin and safely in his pocket.  As if nothing had ever happened, he was off running to play with other children and I was back to conversations.
            As I looked back in reflection over the day, this moment stood out to me.  How kind, I thought, of people to help my son.  What a great example of lending a hand, a gentle witness, a dose of TLC.  But then it expanded a bit more for me.  For some, it seems all we have collected has hit the tile floor and spilled out upon the ground.  With arms filled to the brim, we look around a bit helpless wondering what in the world we’re going to do.  There are those who will stand back and watch, hoping for the best.  There will be those who will scoff at the inability to keep from dropping and spilling our collection…maybe we didn’t hold on tight enough.  There will be others yet who will, standing from their perspective, offer advice and direction.  But there will be those who will hit their knees beside us and help us pick up our change.
            These days, it seems like there is change everywhere we look and at points it seems the change is all over the tile.  We can choose to confront change in a variety of ways, but the most effective is the one that results in action.  Whether it be our change or someone else’s, when we hit our knees and pick up the change, we are no longer standing back starring at it in helplessness.  Instead, we are actively seeking to collect change and in Ham's case, mine too, to give it to God.  I’m grateful for the kneelers who stopped to offer themselves in a way that helped my son pick up the change.  The change on the tile may not be of our choosing, but the way we carry on, the way we pick it up and hand it to God, is what transforms who we are. 
Whose change are you helping to pick up?  Whose helping you pick up your change?  As a body of Christ, are we are all on our knees together, picking up the change together, so that together we can run again, laughing with joy?  It’s not change that makes life difficult, it’s the attitude we choose to bring to the tile.
            And sometimes…it’s the exact change God needs us to surrender to in order to bring God the most glory.

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