Taking the $10 ChallengeBlog / Produced by The High Calling
I fell asleep thinking about the $10 Challenge.
Have you heard about it?
Billy Coffey's friend Terri told a story that inspired him to stick $10 in his pocket, set apart from gas and grocery money, for one purpose only—to bless somebody.
And he met Joey.
Since then, Billy has created a $10 Challenge Headquarters, where we can read stories of people who have done the same—set apart $10 to bless somebody.
As I said, I fell asleep thinking about the $10 Challenge. I was sinking into that near-sleep zone when one word popped into my head: “Goodwill.”
So the next day I drove over to Goodwill with two of my kids. We pulled in behind an older, scraped-up Jeep SUV. The SUV pulled into a handicap-accessible spot in front of the door. The driver wore jeans, work boots, a faded jean jacket, and had a red, white and blue bandana tied around his longish hair. A woman about my age helped an elderly lady settle into a wheelchair.
I don’t know if they needed $10 or not, but I went ahead and bought a $10 Goodwill gift certificate (yes, Goodwill has gift certificates). After we finished shopping, the kids and I sat in the car for a few minutes while I wondered out loud if I should anonymously leave the certificate with those people or give it to a friend of mine who works at an inner-city grade school. She buys uniforms and coats at Goodwill for some of the neediest students.
“I like that idea,” my teenage daughter affirmed.
“I do, too,” I said, “but I keep thinking about that family in the SUV.”
“Well,” she replied, “maybe that’s God telling you to give it to them.”
“I’m torn,” I said, “because they both seem like good ideas.”
My eight-year-old son looked up from his electronic game and announced, “One good idea plus another good idea equals a great idea!”
And I thought, maybe he’s right? Maybe we should do both?
So the kids and I agreed to give my friend some funds so she can shop for her school girls. And then I slipped the gift certificate inside a plastic Goodwill bag to keep it from getting wet, and tucked it under the windshield wiper of the scraped-up SUV.
Perhaps there’s a pessimist tucked inside my generally optimistic self, because I couldn’t help but imagine possible negative outcomes. After all, maybe the family will be insulted by the gift certificate. Maybe they'll be shocked. Maybe they'll mistake the bag for trash and throw it away.
Or maybe … well, maybe they will accepted it as a small gift, an anonymous gesture of good will toward men.
Sometimes we mere mortals don’t know the end of the story.
But many of us take action anyway.
Here's a sampling from the $10 Challenge headquarters:
- Katdish at Hey look, a chicken! attempted to give $20 worth of Starbucks coffee anonymously.
- Peter Pollock at Rediscovering the Church anonymously deposited $10 into someone's PayPal account.
- Jennifer at Getting Down With Jesus bought red gloves to go with the $10, which she slipped into an envelope with a note promising to pray for the recipient.
- Maureen at Writing Without Paper bought several $12 insecticide-treated nets that will protect someone in the world from mosquitoes ... and malaria.
- Anne at Building His Body makes a habit of leaving the required quarter deposit money in the grocery carts for the next person to take one for free.
Billy wrote on his blog:
‘Tis the season for joy and song and laughter. For miracles. And it’s come at just the right time, because there are many who need all four. Yet while we pray for God’s blessing and while we embrace that Christmas magic, let’s not forget that God often gives joy and song and laughter not through the divine intervention, but through the feeble hands of mere mortals like you and me.
Post by Ann Kroeker of Not So Fast and ann kroeker. Photo by Ann Voskamp of Holy Experience. Used with permission.