So I was sitting in the directors' meeting last week, and I shared how were are starting The Truth Project this fall for adult ministries. And one or two people in the meeting wondered if we might run out of space for all the attenders. And I said, "I doubt it. Let's see how many come before we create worries that don't even exist.
Well, I was wrong. The people started coming in about 10:18 and didn't stop for the next 35 minutes. By the time all the chairs were in, and the people were seated, there were 45 people and 4 oxygen molecules in the room. A few were standing in the doorway or sitting out in the hall. Moments later, we began The Truth Project. It's a DVD series from Focus on the Family that explores how Christianity deals with every aspect of life and society. We are taking each DVD in two halves... we watch for about 25 minutes, then talk about what we've seen in the context of brothers and sisters in Christ. Even in the squeeze today, it worked pretty well. The people discussed actively and made some good connections. We also dug into some spiritual truths about what the unsaved person is like and how transformative God is to bring us to his family and himself.
After lunch, we went to Walmart with all the kids. There were two homeless guys begging at the turn into the parking lot. Evan surveyed the situation and then said, "We should do something for that guy."
We shopped. We loaded our stuff. Then Evan said, "Aren't we going to do something for that guy?" (one of them had left). So I said, "What do you want to do?"
And he said, "Could we give him some money or something?"
And I said, "Your money or my money? Are you willing to give him your own money?"
Well, he thought for a minute and then said, "Yeah. You give me the money and I'll work it off." So Tara handed him four quarters that we had in the change holder up front, and Evan walked over to the man and gave him the money. When he returned to the van, Tara looked at me and said, "Good job, Honey. You taught him compassion."
I said, "No, I did not. I taught him the difference between a Democrat and a Republican." And she started to laugh, gently at first, then harder as the reality sank in. Of course Evan wanted to know what was going on, so I repeated myself.
"Evan," I said, "I've just taught you the difference between a Democrat and a Republican. A Democrat helps the poor by taking other people's money and giving it to them. A Republican helps the poor by giving them his own money."
Of course, that's a massive oversimplification, but the core of it is true. It takes very little charity to give away someone else's money. It takes real character and faith to give away your own.