I’ve been struggling actually this week to hear God’s voice about what to write about. I thought last weed that it was going to be about something that happened on the bus ride home from an event in the city, but it seemed kind of trivial to be honest. Now that I’m looking back though I’m wondering if it was what I was supposed to post about but I was waiting for something more interesting or impressive to happen.
So here it goes.
I was on my way back from an event in Brooklyn and it was late. I was tired and I honestly just couldn’t wait to get home. There was a woman who got on the bus and was having an argument with the driver. Nothing crazy but she thought her bus pass would allow her to take our bus line and long story short it wouldn’t even though it was the same bus company. A girl near the front was extremely exasperated by the delay and clearly wanted to go home and began joining in the argument. GET OFF THE BUS! Just GO. We’re trying to leave! It was honestly really uncomfortable and weird to watch. It’s late. Nobody should be allowed to be that loud and rude at that hour. Or really ever, but especially when everyone is trying to fall asleep or detox from a long day in the city. I just looked calmly and in bewilderment at this situation. The woman struggled in her purse but did not have the $10 necessary to go home. I worried for her because I know my bus line and I believe for her particular stop, this might have been the last one of the night. I searched frantically around in my purse. I never carry cash. 1. I’m poor 2. I usually only carry my tickets to commute, Metro Card, and debit/credit cards for emergencies. However, I remembered somehow I had a $10 bill that I haven’t had a reason to spend. But where was it? The lady stepped off the bus and the bus driver didn’t close the door behind her. I guess maybe he wanted to give her a few more seconds to see if she could find something in her purse before pulling away. Finally I found the $10 bill in a zipper I thought I already looked through and told the driver that I was going to pay for her ticket. I told him I was going to get off so I could tell the woman she could get back on. The lady was in total shock. She got back on the bus and profusely thanked me. I was very calm. I merely said back “It’s late, you should just be able to go home”. There was even a young lady across the aisle who gave me a knowing smile. It’s like everyone approved of what I did but no one bothered to get involved. Like really? So much drama over $10?!
I haven’t told anyone I did that before now. This is not my way of doing a WordPress Parade for my generosity. It’s merely to say that sometimes you’re going to be in a position where you have something in your hands that you haven’t used. It could literally be the exact amount of $10 that someone needs, it could be something that is stirring in your heart to say to someone and you know it’s a God thing because the conversation is exactly what the other person needed, it could be a talent that you are sitting on and all of a sudden there is a need for it at church, it could be anything. I don’t think it was a mistake that I didn’t use that $10. I could have bought really anything with that. And yet I carried it around and it was the exact amount that was needed that night.
I’m sure most of us would not have reacted as heartlessly as that young woman did. How would you feel if it was you? Alone in the city, frantic to get home? Right? And yet I feel like in a way that’s just as bad as doing nothing. I would have felt guilty all night if I didn’t find that $10 bill. Knowing I had something to give, but not letting it out of my hand. I feel like this is something that was important to be a part of. Something so small but maybe a small picture of what my Father wants me to do, to show me what I have, and to test what I’m going to do with it.
Now by no means am I perfect. I really should be regularly tithing, I want to, and yet if I was honestly tithing 10% it would be a terrifying sacrifice on the money I make, with the bills I have. And yet I know I need to. Even if I start smaller than 10% I need to start exercising that aspect of my faith and my trust. It took nothing to give that $10 bill. I haven’t thought of it, I haven’t missed it. And so it should be with the needs of my House at church. I have had no problem with seasons of giving, or special project giving, but if I’m honest it’s still difficult to tithe regularly. I think it’s still one of those areas that is still my safety net. I don’t need to fear if I have a small cushion. My mom is constantly out of work, my brother is on disability, my dad is not generous whatsoever, and I’m used to being in control. I know I can pay my bills, I know I can pay my loans, I know I can occasionally fill in the slack when my dad does not come through, or uses his money as a power control to manipulate my mom because she “needs” him. And yet I know that is not a good way to live. And Jesus has been gracious to me in spite of my hesitancy to let it go.
I think this season of my life has helped me grow in a lot of different ways. I can’t find a way out of my job but I’ve learned to stop obsessing and rest much more in knowing that he will open a door when it is time, I have let go of my anxiety and fears about a lot of different issues knowing that God cares for me and has a plan for me, and cannot make a mistake or decision that wouldn’t be in my best interest or for my ultimate happiness. I hear his voice more, I feel his presence more, overall I am very happy in where our relationship is at. And yet there’s still a tiny bit of me that is not 100% all in–and that is with tithing.
I’m writing this as a challenge to myself. It’s scary to live so low already and to think about challenging yourself to tithe what is due. It’s nerve-wracking to feel like there is less of a cushion in the midst of situations that continually go wrong, and yet I am curious to see what will come out of it.
I challenge all of us whether it be through our free time, our talents, our money, our undivided attention, whatever it may be to be honest with ourselves in where we haven’t yet gone and let it go. I pray that we are immediately filled with the peace of knowing it is being held in His hands and that all of the challenges we face pale in comparison to the final outcome of what He has promised for us.