“Someone at a Sunday church service in Charlotte last weekend left behind an offering that we’re pretty sure will move you.
It was a handful of change, and a note that shows just how big a gift it really was.
First United Methodist Church is nestled in uptown Charlotte, just blocks from the homeless shelter in one direction, the big banks in the other.
“You’re literally right in between two very different worlds,” we asked Pastor Patrick Hamrick. “We are, and we see that. Sunday mornings we welcome a big crowd of people to come have breakfast with us, some of them are coming from shelters.”
So it wasn’t a huge surprise to find that there were homeless people in the pews last Sunday.
It’s a note though, left behind, and the offering along with it, that has so many people talking.
“The volunteer called me over and she picked this up and showed the offering envelope and I read the words, ‘Please don’t be mad, I don’t have much. I’m homeless, God bless,’ and it contained 18 cents. Simple but powerful? I think this represents a sacrificial gift.”
It wasn’t much. A handful of change. And yet – it was everything.
“It took some bravery I think to write that down and say don’t be mad but I’m homeless, God bless. But I still want to give. And for us, we acknowledge that individual gave out of his poverty proportionally a big deal.
On Thursday, the homeless man left a voice message with Pastor Hamrick, indicating he had seen this story online.
Pastor Hamrick called the man back and reached him at a soup kitchen at a nearby church. The homeless man told Pastor Hamrick “the gift was between him, the church and God.”
“I thanked him for all he has done and assured him that we honor his intent and his dignity,” Pastor Hamrick said.
The church has been doing what’s called the Muffin Ministry – feeding the homeless every Sunday morning for seven years. They serve about 150 people every weekend.”