Sell your possessions and give to those in need.” Luke 12:33
I could see them flashing a mile down the road. They were two senior adults—just two of the many special people I have met and known over the years. These two folks had a special heart for giving and not just giving but giving so others could know the same God they did. Though they gave generously the way others did they had a couple of other ways that were pretty special. And that is why it wasn’t uncommon to see them pulled off the road on a busy highway…flashers flashing. I know it caused people to wonder.
On any given day, you could be driving down Highway 51 near Cobden, Illinois and see a nice, new Cadillac on the side of the road. With their emergency flashers warning oncoming traffic of their presence, you might think that they were broke down and needed assistance but that wasn’t the case. They would be…picking up cans. Yup…that’s right. They would regularly, and I do mean regularly, go out on the highways and byways around Union County and gather cans to sell and recycle. You might wonder why since usually folks’ pickup cans because they have a need. Some may have seen the Cadillac and thought them greedy but there was a different story in the making. There was a need, but it wasn’t theirs…it was people all around the world who needed to hear about their Jesus.
You see, everything that these two collected when they sold their cans went to fund missions—telling people about Jesus. How about that? They could, and did, write a check but this was their special way of giving. Oh, but that wasn’t all. Everywhere they went, they would be sure and keep their eyes…on the ground. Yup, that’s right. They were looking for change that people dropped and believe it or not…they found a lot. Every year they would make a trip to California to see family. They would stay for several weeks and would always come back with a story—and more money for missions. It was not uncommon for them to find not a few dollars but more…a lot more. And guess what? Yup, that’s right…every dollar went to missions. They told me one time someone saw them either picking up cans or change in California and thinking they were needy…gave them twenty dollars. They explained, but the person insisted they keep the twenty—and share it around the world.
While their example can teach us many lessons there is one that deserves our attention today. You see, they had learned that small things can add up to make a big difference. There is no telling how many thousands of dollars in cans and change they gathered to give away. It was their special way, an unusual way, a unique way…to give. You see, small things can add up. I read something the other day that was crazy. Get ready. The story said that the TSA, the folks that run security at the airports, find an amazing amount of change at the security checkpoints. You know the drill; people have to empty their pockets to go through security and apparently a lot of folks drop their change on the floor or leave it in the bins and it all adds up. “How much?” you ask? Well, in 2019 the TSA collected a whopping $900,000 in change. You read that right—$900,000. That is just crazy amazing.
In case you are wondering, theirs doesn’t go to missions but they do have to report to Congress how it is used. Usually, it is something mundane like buying supplies. How boring. While I am impressed by the amount, I am much more impressed by the heart and soul of two seniors who picked up cans and change to make a difference in the hearts and lives of people everywhere. That, Grits family, is pretty noble and pretty amazing.
So, what can we do to make a difference in the lives of people? Now this story happens to be about two Jesus people but making a difference isn’t limited to people who follow Jesus. We all can make a difference. Hey, why not find a way, even if it is small and simple, and start making an impact in your world? Jesus told a guy in the New Testament part of the Bible who had a lot of stuff, “Sell your possessions and give to those in need.” Sounds like yard sale time to me! Remember, the smallest thing can be made big in the hands of God. Need some ideas? Wondering how? Just ask and the God of Generosity will fill in the blanks. He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne
One thought on “Small Changes….Big Difference”
As I read this I knew exactly who were the couple who picked up the cans. I have to call Glenn and read this to him. When he visits church we drive him back to Carbondale. Unfortunately Chuck had a serious lawnmower accident and we won’t be able to for several months while he heals. I always enjoy hearing stories from Glenn. He will be 100 April 6th. Cobden First is planning a big birthday celebration the 15th. You are invited!