Rev. Steve Markle of Sycamore Creek Church in Pickerington, Ohio, had been teaching his flock about "generosity" for a month, and when it was time to wrap up the lesson, the entire congregation did so with a bang. It started out simply enough, by ordering a pizza from Domino's.
But when the pizza arrived, everything took a surprising turn, in a really good, restore-your-faith-in-humanity kind of way. After inviting the driver up onstage, Markle asked her what the largest tip she'd ever received was, to which the delivery woman, named Natasha, answered was about $10.
"Here's $15," said Markle, doing some quick mental math to determine that she'd be receiving $9 for her efforts — still a pretty great tip. But there was more.
Markle explained that, as part of the church's lessons in being generous, the congregation had taken up a collection for Natasha's tip that day. The amount came to over $1,000, and it was all hers, a "gift" from the congregation to the driver. She was completely floored and broke down in tears.
Delivery drivers, like most service workers, don't get paid a whole lot for their efforts, and anyone who has ever worked in a service industry like Natasha's knows that the number of negative experiences they'll encounter can number far higher than the positive ones. Not to mention that a tip like this one, if you're struggling to make ends meet, can be a total game changer.
Sometimes it can be hard to see what we, as individuals, can do to make someone's life better. It can seem like any small thing we contribute is just a drop in the bucket — how could it ever make a real difference, right? This story is a perfect example of how when everyone contributes something small, it becomes bigger than just one individual's efforts.
Certainly in this instance, that's exactly what happened. Maybe each individual in this congregation couldn't give much — just a few dollars — and nothing that would change anyone's life if received separately. But when the entire congregation came together? They were able to make a difference so huge that the news of their well-learned lesson in generosity is spreading like wildfire.
It's an important lesson to remember. Generosity is great, of course, but we should never be dissuaded by the feeling that we might not make a difference when we attempt to be generous. We might not ever get a chance to be a part of something as huge as this effort — the church regularly draws 500 to 600 people each week — but we can all be inspired by it and remember that all it takes to make a difference sometimes is just the willingness to add whatever you can to a bigger effort.
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