Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Half Dollar and a Whole Lot of Love

The sweet girl and I were cleaning through a drawer earlier today and found some coins I’d put away. I’ve always had a penchant for coin collecting, and my daughter now has quite a collection, including most of the odds and ends I’ve laid aside over the years. In among the Canadian coins and wheat pennies today we found a couple of Kennedy half-dollars.

“Didn’t you once tell me a story about a fifty cent piece?” she asked, and I smiled.

Imagine, if you will, a small and shy first grade girl who was sent to school with lunch money. This little girl didn’t often buy her lunch, preferring her mom’s homemade stuff in the lunchbox. But once in a while, on a special occasion, she would take fifty cents to school to buy the meal on the menu.

On this particular day, when it came time to get in line, she looked in her little coin purse for the two quarters her daddy generally gave her…and only saw one coin.

I don’t know if it hit her that the coin was bigger and looked different. She certainly didn’t notice that it had the word fifty on it. All that struck her was that she had only one coin when she thought she needed two, and so…she didn’t buy lunch.

That shy first grader was me, of course. I only vaguely recall the disappointment I felt over missing lunch. What I remember, with gratitude, is my father’s loving response when I confessed that I hadn’t bought lunch because he hadn’t given me enough money.

I don’t know if I can remember the exact words, but here’s what has replayed in my mind and heart for years, which leads me to believe it must be pretty close.

“Oh honey,” he said to me (at least in my memory it’s honey, though it may have been some other term of endearment, like his favorite, Lizzie-Ru) “didn’t you know that I’d always give you enough?” He showed me the fifty cent piece in comparison with the quarter then, and explained.

Missing one lunch, even a special lunch, turned out to be no big deal. But my daddy’s tenderhearted response has stayed with me for years. I’m grateful that he helped me, even when I was so little, to trust him, and in so doing, helped prepare me to trust the always faithful Father-heart of God.

 “Didn’t you know that I’d always give you enough?” could be words from God’s heart, because what our heavenly Abba is the very best at doing is giving us himself.

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