I look at it every night as I say my bedtime prayers. It’s a simple glass jar filled with loose change. It’s sitting on the dresser in my bedroom. It reminds me that I am loved. It shows me that God is watching out for me and my children. The simple jar filled with pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters gives me hope.
It was shortly after my divorce and I was getting ready to move me and my children to a new home in East Grand Forks.
While my brother and his wife sat at their kitchen table, deciding whether or not to give me a loan, to help me move, their daughter did something remarkable. 7-year old Grace went into her room and brought out her money jar. She had her entire life’s savings in that jar. And she insisted that they give it to me. It reduced her parents to tears.
Grace is my godchild. God gave her an amazing heart. From birth there has always been something special about her. Grace cares about people deeply and when she looks into your eyes, she sees straight through to your soul. During my divorce, many adults didn’t understand what was going on, but Gracie did. One day when I was visiting her home, out of the blue she filled a small tub with water. Then she came over to me, washed my feet and gave me a pedicure. In that moment, I saw Jesus face to face. Grace said very little, but it was the kindness I needed during a painful time.
When my mom gave me the glass jar from Grace, I didn’t know what to do. Should I give it back? How could I take her money that she had saved up since she was little? But then I realized, if I gave it back, it would hurt her feelings. Grace wanted me to have it.
It’s become my little miracle jar. With the money I’ve bought milk and bread when my children really needed it. It helped put gas in my car to get me to work. I even bought my children, 5-year old Joey and 2-year old Josie each an ice cream cone one day. Every time I thought I might be afraid, providing for my children, the jar was reassuring. It meant I always had money. It seems like more money has come out of that jar than I thought possible.
We draw names for Christmas in our family, and this year I happen to have Grace’s name. I don’t think that happened by accident. Nothing does. So I plan to give her the jar, and put a $100 bill inside, along with a letter that she can open when she’s an adult. The letter will explain to her just how much that little money jar meant to me and my children. I will tell her what an amazing person she is and what a difference she made in my life, through her act of kindness.
I will tell her that while to many, it may look like an ordinary glass jar, to me it meant so much more.
That jar represents the love of a young girl, her giving heart and God’s love. Real love. Unconditional, unceasing, unfailing, generous love.
I only hope someday, when I grow up, I can be more like Grace.