CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Someone attending a church service in Charlotte Sunday left behind an offering that has some recalling the story of Jesus and the widow’s offering.
The gift was a handful of change — 18 cents — with a simple note on the offering envelope:
“Please don’t be mad I don’t have much. I’m homeless. God bless.”
The note reminded some of the story in the gospel of Luke. Jesus sees rich people making a show of their wealth with their donations to the temple, while a poor widow gives all she has, two coins. Jesus questions which person has really given more.
“I think this represents a sacrificial gift,” said the Rev. Patrick Hamrick of First United Methodist Church.
“It took some bravery, I think, to write that (note),” he said. “And for us, we acknowledge that individual gave out of his poverty proportionally a big deal.”
First United is nestled in uptown Charlotte, between a homeless shelter and the big banks the city has become known for.
“You’re literally right in between two very different worlds,” said Hamrick. “We are, and we see that. Sunday mornings we welcome a big crowd of people to come have breakfast with us. Some of them are coming from shelters.” The church’s “Muffin Ministry” may feed 150 on a given Sunday morning.
So it wasn’t unusual to have homeless people in the pews last Sunday, any one of whom might have made the offering.
Hamrick said the church has no plans to search out the donor, but will instead “honor the dignity of the individual who made this gift.”
Hamrick said he thinks if the person would come forward, “it would be amazing, because I have a feeling, there’s been enough groundswell of support that this person could probably get some additional assistance.”
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