By David Martin
It is possible to change the course of someone’s life with a small gesture of kindness.
It was a Sunday in late summer, and my wife and I were on our way to church. I was having a debate in my head on whether or not I was going to give the last two dollars I had in my pocket during the offering that day. “Yes, just give it! No, it is so little, it’s embarrassing, don’t give it. Just give it…” The drive to church lasted about 15 minutes, and I argued with myself all the way there.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’m not going to give them this. It’s such a small amount. it’s not going to matter.”? I am not simply talking about giving money to someone either. I am talking about time, energy and effort. Don’t second guess yourself: You literally can change the direction of someone’s life because you gave even a small amount!
As you may remember from my September 2020 article in Transformation Coaching, my mother moved to Canada with her soon-to-be third husband and her some of her kids, and she dropped me and one of my sisters off at our biological father’s house. I was 14 years old, and between the ages of 14 and 17, I lived in six different houses in two different states.
You want to hear something ironic? As my mother was dropping me off at my father’s, she tried to ground me from hanging out with my best friend, David Lissy. The irony is that when I was 17 years old, it was Dave’s family that literally saved my life; they pulled a sofa open in their basement, threw a mattress on it, and let me call their basement my home for the next three years.
There have been multiple times I have thanked Dave’s mom and dad for everything they did, and they always responded the same way, “Murf, we really didn’t do anything.” In their minds, they let me use a pullout couch in the basement with a mattress on it. But in my view, they gave me a warm bed to sleep in, and a safe place to grow and eventually THRIVE!
Back to the two-dollar conversation…I gave the two dollars and did not think about it again, until the next Sunday when I went to a discipleship class. While I was in the class, the teacher taught on the “holy handshake.” Here’s how it works: You pray about someone God wants you to bless with a small financial gift and, when He gives you that name, the next time you see that person, you place that gift in your hand and shake their hand and give it to them.
The class teacher told me that when he prayed a few weeks earlier my name is the name that came to mind. He had no idea that my wife and I were having financial issues because I had not told anyone! And I still hadn’t told him. When the church service was over that same day, I stood at the exit to thank people for coming. When the teacher came out, he asked me if I was going to be there for a few minutes. I told him I would be. He left and returned a few minutes later and shook my hand, leaned in and said, “I apologize for being so late with this, and I wish it could have been more.” This was the holy handshake he taught about. I gratefully put the gift in my pocket.
I don’t think I was debating with just myself on our way to church that morning over the two dollars. I believe God was saying, “Test Me.” I gave the two dollars, and that teacher blessed me with $219.00. Trust me, $219.00 did not put a dent in what we needed but it did affirm my trust in God.
So remember in these trying times, your gift of a little is more than enough! May you bless someone in the New Year.
David J. Martin is an accomplished teacher, preacher, counselor, mentor, and master life coach with 35 years of experience. He joined the United States Air Force in 1986, served for 30 years, and ended his career as the Functional Manager of Occupational Safety and Health for the United States Air Forces in Europe and Africa, ascending to the highest attainable enlisted rank of Chief Master Sergeant (CMSgt). After retirement, he went on to Pastor a non-denominational church in Somersworth, NH, and then moved to North Carolina. Dave is the owner of a Life Strategy/Coaching Company called Too Stupid To Fail. He has helped thousands of people transform their lives and create success in their relationships, careers, families, education, health and fitness through the various roles and responsibilities he has had throughout his adult life, both on and off the job. Contact Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org.