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Amity Reformed Church (UCC)
315 Center St, Meyersdale, PA 15552
Pastor's Notes
April, 2015
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Sabbatical, Take 2: In the Palm of My Hands
What would you do if you hit the lottery?

While I was in NC, the Powerball lottery prize grew to over $1 billion dollars.  We - Hal and I, my sisters, brother-in-law, nieces, et al. - spent some time dreaming, as I'm sure millions of people across the country did.  We would pay off our debts, give money away, keep anonymous as much as possible - ah, wouldn't it be nice?  But it was not to be. 

I did, less than a week ago, have a few moments in which to ponder what I would do with a found sum of money.  You see, I was shopping at a Goodwill (where else?) on the way from my visiting my sisters, to visit Hal's sister.  While Hal was in one part of the store, I was looking through the skirts, and something caught my eye.  As I checked to see what size the skirt was, I had to brush aside an old ratty sock, pinned to the inside back waistband.  "Odd," I thought.  And I noticed that it contained something small, rectangular, and stiff.  My curiosity getting the better of me, I unpinned it, slipped it into my pocket, and looked for Hal so he and I could see what was inside it together.  But he was out of my line of vision, so I pulled it out of my pocket and opened it.  I pulled out a small amount of bills - thinking at first that the outer bill was a $20, I was shocked to see it was $100.  And more shocked as I opened the fold and hundred dollar bills.  Still looking for Hal, and still not seeing him, I shoved it back into the sock, back into my pocket...and for a few seconds thought about how nice it would be, and how much relief on our budget it would be, and how we could afford to go to one of the more expensive restaurants in Charleston...

And then I walked up to the register, and asked the woman behind it if she was the manager.  She said no, but she could get the manager if I wanted her to.  I nodded...still kind of speechless.  Hal walked up about that time and asked me if there was something wrong.  I shook my head no, motioned for him to come over.  About that time, the manager came up, and I pulled the sock out of my pocket again, and watched my hand push it across the counter towards her, and told her that I had found it pinned to a skirt, and that someone might miss it.  She said that she'd put it in the safe and call the regional manager - the cashier thanked me for my honesty - and I looked at her and said, "I'm a pastor.  I couldn't live with myself if I had taken it."

Now - I tell you this not to imply that I'm a saint - far from it.  And I'm not going to lie.  The thought of keeping it?  Yeah, crossed my mind.  But Hal and I are in agreement that I did the only thing we could have done.  And yes, it would have been a relief on our budget.  We are 2 weeks into the first month of Sabbatical.  And while we are still getting our normal pay, we still have our normal expenses.  We did not get the grant we had applied for, so the traveling - the meals out (with the exception of our Subway meals, thank you again church!), the gas money, the hotel are not within our normal expenses.  I held what I momentarily thought was an answer to prayer in the palm of my hand - and gave it away. 

There are more important things I have held in the palm of my hand these two weeks.  I have held the hand of my husband.  I have held in hugs my sisters and brother-in-law, my nieces and nephews, my grand niece and nephew, my sister-in-law, and friends who are family.  I have held the hand of a pastor friend who took time from his day to counsel with me.  I have held the hand of the surgeon who performed surgery on my sister, removing a malignant melanoma.  I have held a Bible and a hymnal  I have held the sand and seashells and the water of my beloved Atlantic Ocean.  I have held a cup of coffee at the apartment of a dear friend in Charleston and numerous plates full of food at meals shared with laughter.  I have held cards and childrens' toys and gross, dog-slimed toys in a tug of war with a German Shepard with more energy than I have.  I have held yarn and crochet hooks and created baby blankets and scarves that will be given to those who have need.  And I have held money - money that Hal and I earned, not money that was not mine to hold.

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4/13/2017 1:41:59 PM
Amity Reformed Church (UCC) - Sabbatical, Take 2: In the Palm of My Hands
Merely had to state Now i'm relieved that i came upon your
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