A few weeks ago on the way to church, my 4-year-old son asked for some money to put in the offering. Fortunately I had a dollar in my wallet (who carries cash these days?) that he happily put in his pocket to keep safe until offering time. When we got home I rounded up all the dollar bills I could find and put them in the diaper bag–the one thing I never forget to bring–so that he could have an offering each week.
“What is the offering money for?” he asked me this past Sunday as we walked up the sidewalk towards church. “Is it for God?”
“Well, it’s for the church to use to help people, the way God wants us to,” I told him. “The offering money lets the church help people who don’t have enough food or clothes, or a place to live, or a car to get places–”
“Mommy, can you stop saying those things?” he interrupted me. I looked down at him. His face was turned up towards me, his big brown eyes full of unshed tears. “You’re going to make me have sad dreams.”
I squeezed his hand and gave him a hug. “It’s also for fun things like skate parties for the kids at church, and for paying the church’s electric bill, ” I added quickly, caught off guard.
He never ceases to amaze me. Underneath all those ninja-moves and imaginary pets is a sensitive little person who is full of empathy. “You’ve got a big heart, you know that, Bubby?” He flashed me one of his big smiles, the kind that reminds me that being a parent really is an awesome experience. I wonder what he’ll surprise me with next?