What would you do if someone handed you cash in an envelope? Would you laugh? Would you stare, dumbfounded, in disbelief? Would you ask for a little of what they’ve been drinking?
What would you do if they told you you had to use that money to help somebody else? Would you keep the money for yourself? Would you give it to someone in need? Would you try to grow the money so you had more to help people with?
A church in the Greenhorn Valley pulled a stunt like this last Sunday. Table Mountain Church gave each family an envelope with cash in it, and that cash is to be used to bless somebody else. That’s it. Those are the only instructions. The possibilities are endless, of course. Some might buy hats and mittens for children without any. Some might pre-pay the next ten customers down at the coffee shop. Some might bring meals to those too sick to cook for themselves.
I’ve heard talk of paying someone else’s utilities, of taking a neighbor out to eat, of buying footballs and Barbies.
You might be wondering, as I was at first, if the church has lost its marbles. Giving money away! Are they crazy? They’ll never see that money again. Money that could be used for “ministry” expenses is gone, out the door. Then, of course, some church-goers may be less than ethical and just keep the money for themselves. Now who is blessed? Not the church, and not a needy neighbor, either.
It turns out Table Mountain Church doesn’t want that money back. Their goal is two-fold: to be a blessing to the community by giving themselves away, and to teach people the joy of giving, so that they might continue to give. So be on the lookout for random acts of kindness in the community this week. Please send me any stories you hear of, I’d love to collect a big pile of these stories, and maybe publish a few.
This article originally appeared in the December 5, 2007, edition of the Greenhorn Valley View.