This weekend our bus got tagged with some pretty blue spray paint. Although it was very artistic, I felt kind of strange driving around with the words "Blood Killer" big and bold written on the bus, so we spent a lot of time scrubbing today. As I scrubbed I started reflecting on all the words that bus has held inside of it:
“I was born ready for my birthday!”
“Is today yesterday or today?”
“The reason why I don’t want to get to be a man is because mans start to get hair growing out their nose and ears and it’s nasty.”
The working definition of “drama queen”: Someone who is always like, “Ugh, I need new shoes.”
Oh look we’re almost to my house.
Which one is it?
Oh it’s the one right there next to my neighbors house.
Wow! All my neighbors live by me too!
But this one conversation continues to stand out:
Markel H.: Do you play with toys in your office?
Kalie: Not usually.
Markel H.: Oh, do you do computer stuff then?
Kalie: Yeah, a lot of computer stuff and talking to people.
Markel H.: Well, at other schools the principal doesn’t drive the bus they have other people who are the bus drivers.
Kalie: That’s true, but I like to drive the bus because it saves our school money so we can go on field trips and eat healthy food and things like that.
Markiel C.: I have $10 I can bring so we can have some more money!
Kalie: That’s so sweet Markiel.
Markiel C: Well that way we can have a bus driver and you can stay at school sometimes and get your work done.
As I look back at a bus full of kids each day, I think often of Jesus’ words about needing to be like a child to enter the kingdom of Heaven. Today it struck me hard that kids are fearless in believing the best about what’s to come and confident that their resources are more than enough to change the world. I brushed off Markiel’s offer to bring $10 because well, it’s only $10. He doesn’t understand that $10 is such a small percentage of what it will take to run a school long term. He doesn’t get that $10 won’t put a dent in a bus drivers salary. He doesn’t get that $10 is insignificant.
But then it hit me. God could care less about what percentage of the end goal my gift is, He doesn’t care about the dent I think my gift can make in solving a problem, He can make the insignificant more than enough.
I dismissed Markiel’s $10 contribution as simply cute and I think God saw it as more than enough.
As humans we’re good at dismissing resources because we don’t believe they are enough. I think often of Moses at the burning bush, a hot mess, scared, confused, with nothing but a stick and God asked, “what’s in your hand?” A stick. God took a stick and used it to show His power to a man who thought he was the most powerful. God took a stick and used it to part open the sea. God took a stick and used it to bring water from a rock. God took a stick with a bronze snake attached to it to heal His people from the poison of snake bites. The truth is, it was never the stick bringing forth the miracles, it was the God who created the stick. Nothing is too small or insignificant when it’s placed in God’s hands. Not sticks, not Markiel’s $10, not your life, nothing is too small.
We’ve written about this over and over again. I keep being amazed how God takes the most insignificant of things and ushers in His kingdom in and through them.
I’ll be transparent about something, fundraising. I know for some of you, you saw the $ and knew exactly where these words were leading you. I used to get so sweaty thinking of that. I fight this battle inside, knowing that we need money for UCA to exist and that money is nestled in your pockets…so how do we have an objective conversation about your investment that doesn’t heap guilt on you or put pressure on me? It’s tricky, huh?
Here’s where we’ve landed. We don’t need your money. We have Markiel’s. But we want your heart to experience the overwhelming beauty of becoming an active participant in God’s grand story of redemption by surrendering the resources He has given you to steward. We never ask ourselves what we want from you but instead what we want for you. We want to stand beside you as you throw in your stick or $10 or 1 hour a week and watch God do more than we could ever imagine with it. It’s been a thrilling ride to do that alongside so many of you as you've invested in UCA and other Kingdom ministries.
God doesn’t want your money, He wants your heart, but for most of us money paves the road that leads to our hearts. I think as Markiel hands over his $10 he enters into the story of the Kingdom of God, he doesn't balk because it’s not much, his head is held high knowing that He is a part of something bigger than him. I stopped to take a picture of his face (at a stoplight of course!) because of the hope in his eyes. His child like faith allows him to trust God to be God while relishing in the joy of being a part of the grand story. I pray that as you steward your resources your eyes sparkle with hope and joy.
I’m constantly reminded that these scholars are not just future leaders that will teach us and lead when they are all grown-up, but these kids are leading now. They are leading the way towards reckless generosity, unstoppable compassion, and unshakeable faith. I’m lucky to be learning from some of the best humans I know.
If you're interested in using your resources to join the UCA story, click here to donate.