Our pastor's son, Marty, was determined to stay in college. But the income from our small congregation made this an "iffy" situation--at least if it depended on help from his family.
My own daughter, Dana, was also in college, and the contrast between her circumstances and Marty's raised questions in my mind. My child had all the material goods that a freshman in college needs--a new car, clothes and an allowance.
Marty, on the other hand, struggled constantly with shabby clothes, a poor specimen of transportation that seemed to inhale the income from his part-time job, and little money for trips home and sundry other expenses. Why, I wondered?
It seemed to me that a pastor should have the best of everything and be able to help his son financially--via direct provision from the Lord, of course.
One day I received a check in the amount of $326 for tutoring a student at home. As a teacher, I was grade-conscious and had planned to use the check to bribe my daughter to keep her grades up.
The turmoil inside me crystallized into a strong compassion for Marty and a willingness to help. So I approached Pastor Reed before service one Sunday, gave him the check and told him it was for Marty.
Later, Pastor Reed took Dana and me aside. He said: "Marty called home to tell us that his old car had broken down again. My heart just broke because I had to tell him I was sorry, but I didn't have the money to send him. Kayla, you've got to be an angel. You won't believe this, but Marty told me the repairs would cost $326!"
When we got back to our seats, Dana whispered, "Mom, are you really an angel?"
"No," I laughed, "that's just an expression, but what a nice thought, anyway!"
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