One of the more interesting decorating accomplishments you may see in our home is piles of coins scattered in virtually every room of the house. When coins come out of pockets, they are placed on the nearest available counter or dresser or table. There they often stay for days or weeks or in a few cases for months. Piles can contain amounts from less than a dollar to tens of dollars in nickel and silver and copper coin. One pile was found to contain over thirty dollars in copper alone. It would not be unusual to find several coins lying on the floor where they had been dropped throughout the house.
Sometimes we have visitors which appear to have more need for these piles of change and take it upon themselves to reallocate them. We do not see this as an affront as we certainly would have shared if we were asked. In the traditions described in the Old Testament of the Scriptures, farmers were instructed to leave some good grain not harvested in the corners of their fields for the poor and less fortunate. There would be no questions when this overabundance was taken. We feel the same way.
Occasionally we are asked if there is significance to the piles or if we had forgotten where we had placed them. But it is not a lack of respect for their value which allows such a seeming caviler attitude. We understand and appreciate the value which money brings into our lives. We are as eager as most to trade our time and talents and resources for financial gain. We also spend our finances to obtain that which we cannot produce for ourselves. Yet we are blessed and have much. We are not wealthy by worldly standards. As the old song goes, “There’s a roof up above me, I’ve a good place to sleep There’s food on my table, and shoes on my feet”.
My upbringing was not destitute but much of what we have enjoyed with our children was foreign to my childhood. From a young age we taught our children the value of money. I became a Christian when our daughter was two years old. My wife followed shortly after when our son was one. We began giving out of a heart of love and in obedience to the teaching we were exposed to from the Scriptures. We have shared many wonderful experiences through the years of knowing the struggles and blessings of being faithful as the Lord has directed us.
As we have shared with others the wonders of allowing God to control our finances, we have been able to influence them as well. Our children have been taught to save, shop for bargains, give to God’s work and not overvalue the treasures of this world. At times they have been examples for us. And not just with money. Once a neighbor’s apartment burned with all their possessions; our young son took off his shoes to give to their son. He said he had another pair.It is not that they or we have always been unselfish or angelic about our treasures. It is true that they seem to have responded to God’s leading more than many folks we know. At times they have asked their Heavenly Father for resources and deliverance with far more faith than I believed I had. They have heard Him say yes and no. Sometimes the piles of coins have been gathered and counted as answers to the requests for God’s provision. Sometime they have remained while the blessings flowed from others. The focus has never been the money.
The scripture says “There is that makes himself rich, yet has nothing: there is that makes himself poor, yet has great riches”. Knowing the difference between wealth and riches makes a huge difference.
As adults, our children may disagree with us on some of our perspectives. Their experiences and yielding to God has been different than ours. We are influenced by their godliness and humanity. We experience the measure of God’s favor in our lives differently than they do. In some families there are no piles of resources and in others there are far more than our meager piles. It is encouraging to be in need and see God’s blessings flow in response to our faithfulness to His word. “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you give withal it shall be given to you again. Luke 6:38” Not dollar for dollar nor coin for coin but blessing for blessing remembering none of us can out give God.
Finally what do I tell those who ask why we leave these piles lying around? “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and does not scold; and it shall be given him”. That’s found in James 1:5.
Besides all this, they are His piles.