Sunday afternoon, the Lebanon Road congregation led a worship service at a local assisted living home. We do this several Sundays each month, and it is a joy to worship with these good folks. They encourage us as we encourage them.
After the service, I was walking around the room with the kids. They were hugging, waving, and shaking hands. It was special to see many smiles, both on the faces of the residents and on our kids’ faces! (When you don’t attend services like these, you miss out on some special moments.)
One of the residents took a special liking to our kids. He nearly always has a bag with him that he keeps magazines, papers and other things in. After talking with us for a few moments, he reached into his bag and had a little gift for our kids. He gave Turner a sports magazine. He gave Mary Carol this:
They thanked him and we went to talk to some other folks. A moment later, Mary Carol was handing me her $1million bill. I thought she just wanted me to hang on to it for her, so I said, “Why don’t you just keep it and we’ll put it in your purse when we get to the car.”
Her response, though, blew me away. It reminded me of what sacrifice really means. You see, to her, this is a real amount of money. She doesn’t realize that this is play money. She also has no idea what $1,000,000 really is! She thinks it’s just a dollar like the dollars we use to buy groceries, clothes, books and other items. Her focus isn’t on the amount. Her focus is what can be done with it.
So what did she say that showed me sacrifice? I have a car that isn’t running. In fact, we’re selling it, because it’s down to just being a “parts” car. I have left it at the church building while trying to sell it because I’m afraid to even drive it home! Each time we are there, she says something about it, and we say, “Daddy’s car isn’t running right now.”
So, when she was given her “dollar,” she brought it to me. When I tried to give it back, she said, “Daddy, that’s for your car that isn’t running…so you can fix it.”
That is sacrifice! She wasn’t focused on the amount. She wasn’t thinking about what she could do with that dollar (or a million dollars, for that matter). Mary Carol wasn’t thinking of giving me the left-overs. She saw a need, and she was determined to help meet it.
Today, I’m praying that I’ll learn to be more like that when I see a need. True sacrifice puts others first, and I’m grateful for a four-year-old precious treasure named Mary Carol who reminded me of that.