Back in January, I wrote about Aneliese's two money banks, the one being for herself and the other a jar that we started during the Advent season to contribute to starting a school for the Dalit children in India. Over the past weeks, Aneliese continued to put money in her banks. At some point she was given a couple of two dollar coins to put in her bank. And we continued to talk about the children who have little and how we could be part of helping to build a school for them. And then one morning, Aneliese found some pennies in our room. She asked if she could put them in the jar for the children and excitedly dropped them in once given permission. Later that morning, Dan and I both were busy working on various things around the house and so I admit, that I didn't really stop to think about it when she asked me to get her own bank off of the shelf. I gave it to her and a little later heard the plink, plink, plink of coins falling in the jar. I still didn't really think about it because she had been putting pennies in the jar and I just assumed she was taking them out and putting them back in.
After a few moments, I walked into the kitchen and she looked up with a joyous, beaming smile and said that she was giving money to the children and held up her little bank, saying that she had put it all in. I felt a little uncomfortable, not sure if I should be allowing her to empty her entire bank and wondering if she had really thought about. I asked her if she was sure and her response was to open her arms wide as she said emphatically, "There are LOTS of children and they need LOTS of money." She followed that statement with the request to take the money to the lady who would give it to the children. And so a couple of days later, we went to that lady's house with that precious jar where we saw pictures and heard stories about these children.
After she had listened and watched intently to every thing that she was told, Aneliese handed over her jar that had sixteen dollars inside.
This was a couple of weeks ago and while we haven't been putting any money aside for the children since then, Aneliese still talks about them as if she knows them personally.
To my adult mind, I could only think, sixteen dollars isn't going to go far. But to one tender-hearted little girl, who somehow figured out that lots children needed lots of her money and so gave it all, that money is going to do great things.
And once again this mama has learned so much from my wise not-quite-three year old. To give joyfully, to give freely, not just of my money or my things, but of myself. To not hold back because my offering is small or insignificant in light of the need. To trust that what I can give will be used.