Four hundred dollars.
Depending upon where you’re sitting today, four hundred dollars may not seem like a lot – or it may be groceries for several weeks or half a month’s rent. All of that seems relative. Twenty years ago, four hundred dollars was what stood between me and finishing seminary a semester early, instead of engaging in class for another six months.
Enrolled in a week-long summer class on spiritual growth, I received a message that I needed to report to the financial aid office early one morning. There, I was told that my financial aid was short by four hundred dollars and without that payment by the end of the day, they would be forced to dismiss me from the class. I was devastated, as I walked over to the classroom building. I had no more funds to pull from, having drained the savings I’d acquired through working for the small town’s water and sewer branch (drained! Get it?) and four hundred dollars could have well been a million dollars.
I sat through the class’ first half in a fog. At the lunch break, the instructor asked us to stand and go around a prayer circle to share any needs that were on our hearts. When it was my turn to speak, I just said, “If I don’t get $400 to the business office by five today, I can’t finish the class.”
We went to lunch break, and I forced myself to eat. When I returned to my seat, I found a college ruled single sheet of paper folded up there.
Inside the paper were twenty $20 bills.
And a note that read, “God loves you.”
It’s been nearly twenty years now and I still don’t know who left that money. But that person (or persons, because I really have no idea) reminded me that day that I wasn’t alone, that I was heard by God and my community, that even in the midst of other people’s struggles that they saw my struggle and were moved to help me. They really were an angel investor in my life, someone who saw what I could be and what I could do, and paid so that I could do those things.
Don’t we all have moments sometimes where we could be that for someone else? Sometimes, even anonymously, sometimes directly, we’re put in a position where we can help someone else be who they’re supposed to be. Maybe it’s because we remember when we were invested in by someone else, or maybe it’s because we realize that God’s been investing in us all along.
Galatians 6:2, NIV: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
P.S. If you don’t see someone in your life who you can help and feel called to help someone today, message me and we’ll find a way to meet someone’s need.