(I wrote this while in Africa last year. I just got back from Rwanda, and am still thinking about the little kids. And the God who loves them, and... my money.)
So we're visiting village after village today, and playing with a whole lot of very sweet little kids. Sweet little kids, I should say, with not a thing to play with. Literally no thing.
So we play tickle monster (standard operating procedure for a dad, of course) and we twirl and I laugh and they giggle. And we take pictures with our digital cameras, and show them what, for likely the first time, is a first look at themselves in a photo. Their eyes brighten, and they smile, look away -- then look again, and smile. Thank God they don't think what I thought when I first saw them: These children are not eating well. Many have hair missing...in clumps. But they see themselves, and they smile, and so do we.
It says on our money, "In God We Trust", and many Christians pass emails around, protesting rumors of the removal of that phrase. Understandable? Okay. But so is wondering, of course, if we who protest really, truly trust God with our money...or whether it's easier to have our coins say it.
I say we don't, really, trust God with our money. If we did, we'd invest in His ultimate retirement plan: "He who gives to the poor lends to the Lord, and the Lord WILL repay him." -- it says that in Proverbs. I may not be exactly quoting -- don't have my Bible right here -- but I'm darn close.
Our entire banking system -- our entire economy! -- is based on just that: trust. Shoot, the root word for "credit" is the same as "credibility". It means "trust". You have money, so who do you trust with it? Maybe you trust a banker you've never met, a broker you'll never see, or a corporation that, God promises, will vanish, eventually, like a vapor.
People are now struggling to find a trustworthy place, with a solid return, for their money. May I propose, for those who say they subscribe to "In God We Trust", that they actually trust God with their money? Maybe that's you. It's certainly me.
God says: Give to the poor, and you're lending to me. And I WILL repay you. That's a guaranteed return. God says He WILL repay you.
Give to the poor. Give to the poor. Give to the poor. God WILL repay you. GOD will repay you. He promises it.
Take it to the bank.
Or don't -- take it to these children, or others like them. God will repay you. When? How? I don't know. But He promises it. Still worried about your retirement years? Listen to one of these children giggle, smell their milky breath, hold their dirty little hands...and wonder, with me, if they'll even see high school.
God says He WILL repay you.