The Capital One commercial asks “So what’s in your wallet?” Here is another question to think about “So what’s in your church offering plate?” At House of Hope Church, you never know what you may find in our Rubbermaid offering container. Last month it was a tooth! It was a true offering from someone’s heart to God out of gratitude. It was lined with a thick coat of silver on the entire back of it. I have learned to recognize a sacrifice!
Three weeks ago the offering was brought into the office and for sure there it was a $1 winner!!! It was a Scratch Ticket! There were other offerings but this was the greatest. It was all she had. Did she spend her buck on a scratch ticket? That’s terrible isn’t it – gambling it away? Let me tell you the story: She has been working the main prostitute drag in Lynn. She has been a hard core heroin addict for years. This street has been her life!
Last summer I took out a small team of high school youth from St. Michael’s Church in Charleston, S.C. One of the men of our church yelled “Pastor Claire!” He brought her and another prostitute over to us. The “Madam” of the street was screaming like she could break glass. I said, “Just put your arms around each other in the circle and pray.” The Madam fled the block! The 2 women were in their hustle attire – each one in the circle crying for help. Over the past few months, our friend weaned herself off the streets and heroin. She has no money. She wants to work but trying to get stable enough. She is participating in everything we offer. When she bought that ticket she was hoping “by faith” that it would have been a “bigger hit” to help get herself get together without selling herself to the streets. That Sunday her everything was in the offering.
This is what I love about the Hope Center. Miracles happen daily at Straight Ahead and House of Hope Church. We often say, “You can’t make this stuff up!” That Sunday was a sign and wonder – a $1 scratch ticket. After church that day she was talking to one of our Straight Ahead staff who attends House of Hope with his family. He was telling her about our DYS outreach Bible studies. She said, “MY SON IS IN DYS IN NH!” She has not seen him and wanted to wait. She wants him to be proud. He said, “We are in DYS facilities in NH. I will talk to someone upstairs and get him connected with our team in NH.” She has been walking with a skip in her steps since. Her faith is on fire and her heart filled with hope for herself and for her son to get the support he needs.
So what is in your offering today? It’s not always money. It can appear to be the smallest thing and of no value to others, but God knows our hearts. What could more pleasing to God than to trust him with of our little everything?
Pastor Claire Sullivan