Two mites

Confession: My least favorite part of church is taking up the offering.

This has nothing to do with how we take it up (into innocent wicker-and-burgundy-felt baskets) or when (slipped between the announcements and the songs), or who or how much or why

No. It’s all about the drama.

You see, we give our sons an allowance of a dollar a week per child, payable on Saturday in four quarters with the understanding that one quarter goes to Jesus on Sunday.

Problem: I have a very inventive son who loves money.1

1“The love of money is the root of all evil.” Ah. That explains it.

There was the Sunday he forgot to bring his offering quarter along to church.

And then the next Sunday, when he forgot it again.

And then the next, as we headed out the door for church—“Son, did you fetch your offering quarter like I told you?”

“Yes, dad.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, dad.”

“Show me.”

Checking right pants pocket. Dry. Checking left pants pocket. Hmm. Checking breast pocket of shirt. Nope. Innocently puzzled look on face of son. “I thought I had it…”

Bilbo and the Ring, my dear, Bilbo and the Ring. “Go get it please.”

And then there was the Sunday when this scenario was reenacted publicly, as he stood in our pew searching through pocket after pocket, the usher standing patiently looking on.

And then the time when instead of dropping the quarter into the plate, he attempted a heroic rescue out on behalf of the quarter his brother had just placed there.

And the Sunday when he put the quarter in—sort of—and pulled it back out, and put it in, and pulled it out… and at our insistence on actual relinquishment, burst into loud wails.

And finally this Sunday, when after much preliminary grooming he put it in beautifully at last—just as his sister returned from Grandma’s pew with a very distressed face. “Mommy! My purse!” Swiftly we dug out her quarter, but not swiftly enough to catch the basket; hastily we chased our prey back the aisle, and captured it near the back. Rapidly we deposited the quarter; quickly we turned about—and nearly flattened the usher who had sneaked up silently behind.


Church doesn’t have to be easy. I expect to labor in prayer, to face deep exposure in confession and testimony, to be scourged with truth in the sermon…

but the offering??

Father, have mercy.

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10 years ago

HAHA HAHA HA!!! Sympathetic laughter from a Mom who has faced her own share of offering humiliations from my children . . . it’s all OK though . . . trust me. My oldest is now 20, and has come a long, long way from ‘good old days’ of childhood.

10 years ago

Wait. Todd is 20??? That makes me feel unbelievably old.

10 years ago
Reply to  Shari

He is indeed 20, and very close to 21, and in his second year of college. How old do you think **I** feel?! 😉

10 years ago

This is hilarious. We are usually so engrossed in our own drama in our pew that I have not noticed yours. 🙂 Our drama usually includes dropped quarters and either chasing down the ushers or hoarding the basket for a looong time until we get things in order. Ahhhhhh.

10 years ago

Sometimes we would go get a Slurpee after church and when one of the kids asked one Sunday, I told her that maybe next week we could, but we didn’t have any money this week. So when the collection basket came around, she asked if we could just take some from there? Yes, honey, that’s to help run the church, feed the poor, and buy the Russos Slurpees. 🙂 That wasn’t as embarassing as when she was playing and got on the floor and I went to grab her arm to pull her back up to the seat (like a normal mom grab, not mean or mad or ANYTHING) and she said (very loudly!), “Owww! You’re hurting me!”. Awk-ward. Have a great week ~

10 years ago

Whooo, the stories those ushers get to share over their dinners! What an underrated job!
No, though this post was a delightful tickle, I’m sure you have all our sympathy. Our girlie is too little yet for offerings, but story time’s a-coming for us too.

Jo Yoder
10 years ago

I “happened” across this today, and immediately thought of your post. 🙂

10 years ago

ah yes! We chase the plate to the very back too. This was such a fun read, Shari.

10 years ago

Oh yes and mine like to stick their money in their mouth and so I took it away from one since he did it after I told him not to and I got a lot of drama and loud crying on a Sunday when his daddy was up front preaching of course.

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