The following two stories about giving were told by Charles Fillmore in a talk he gave on March 29, 1929.
“John Wanamaker, in his autobiography, tells of an experience he had when he was sixteen. His father owned a brickyard, and he worked in the brickyard; and he also went to an Episcopal church. The rector complained a great deal about the condition of the pavement and about the inactivity of the people in not having it repaired. And Wanamaker said that one day after listening to the minister he made up his mind that he was going to do something about that pavement. Then he went to his father and got a contribution; then he went to the other brick makers that he knew and got contributions, and he got enough bricks together to fix that pavement, and the next Sunday morning when the minister came. John said he hid around the corner to see what the minister would say when he saw the pavement. He said: “he came along with his head bowed and thinking about what he was going to say to the congregation, until all at once he struck the pavement, and he seemed to feel it with his feet and he looked all around, but didn’t seem to see any one, and he walked up and down on the pavement praising God, and he thought that it came from heaven.” And John came out from behind the house where he was, and the minister said, “John, did you have something to do with this? I can tell from your looks that you did.” And John just bowed his head, and the old minister fell on his breast. And he said, in all his life of giving, he never had such a feeling of thankfulness and never knew such joy in giving; and after, that he said he made giving a part of his life.”
“Here is a great lesson for every one of us, that we must put the spirit of giving into our gift. If we don’t do that, it falls short of the real thing. I remember reading of a case in England. A pensioner came to the minister who was raising money to repair the church; and he counted out in silver five shillings. That is all he had, but he gave it with such an earnestness that the minister said he felt like blessing him. There was a rich merchant in the rectory at the same time, and with a great flourish he made out a check for fifty pounds. He left it and went away, but he came back the next day with a check for two hundred and fifty pounds, and he said, “Do you know why I am back with this check?” And the minister said, “No.” “Well,” he said, “I got the lesson from Uncle John,” who was the pensioner. He said, “He gave himself. He gave himself with his five shillings.” And the next day the minister called on John and he said, “Do you know how much you gave yesterday?” “Why,” he said, “I gave five shillings.” “No,” he said, “you gave two hundred and fifty pounds.” It was that thought that inspired the rich man. You see how wonderful that is when it is dropped in just the right place. The way to give is to give yourself first.”
How do you give?
It is the practice and policy of Unity in Frederick to tithe 10% of our unrestricted income each month. In July and August our tithes were given to Unity Worldwide Ministries, UWM Eastern Region, Unity of Hagerstown and Religious Coalition.
Peace and Blessings