When I took the plunge to self-employment, I made a commitment to my friend: the God of the Universe, that I would tithe and/or donate a portion of my profits. I did not, however, make a solid commitment to any one particular group or person. I decided I wanted the decision to donate to be made for me via an overwhelming sense of (said in deep booming voice) “You should give this person or place money… NOW!! THEY NEED IT RIGHT NOW!!”
I told my buddy God several times over the course of self-employment that I would like to have revelations on where to distribute my tithes and donations. But, aside from filling the palms of a few homeless folks, there hadn’t really been one moment where I said to my brain, “I think the God of the Universe had something to do with this.”
Until last week.
I was on my way to mail a giant, antique barometer I’d sold on eBay for my dad. It required me to go to a speciality mail store to purchase bubble wrap and packing materials to preserve it on the journey to meet its new owner in New York.
On the car ride to the store, I was having a one-way (that’s usually the way it is) conversation with my main homey God. Now, I like to continually thank God for what he’s done for me. Some may call it “praying” but to me its just having a conversation in my brain. Something like:
“Hey God, thanks for my life. Its pretty awesome.”
“Hey God, thank you for giving someone the idea for Reese’s Pieces.”
“Hey! What up God? You know, I really appreciate the fact that all my organs are still functioning properly.”
Or something along those lines. At this moment though, I asked for some clarity on what to do with the tithe money that was burning a hole in my pocket. I didn’t like holding on to it and I was worrying (something I do quite a lot) I may be missing my “cues” to donate.
Upon arriving to the mail store, I used my rippling muscles to carry this giant barometer inside and told the girl behind the counter what needed to be done. She wrapped it with bubble wrap and I strategically placed wrapping materials around everything to keep the barometer safe.
Now, I’m an introvert. I don’t dislike talking to people, but I certainly don’t go out of my way to encourage it. To my initial dismay, this girl started asking me questions about the barometer which meant I had to talk. After a few minutes of this talking which I so initially dismayed over, she shared with me about her friend’s three-month-old baby who had just died the previous night from SIDS. She was desperate to leave work to be with her and the empty look behind her eyes I hadn’t noticed earlier suddenly revealed itself to me.
This devastated me. I couldn’t imagine losing a child. I suffered through depression in my daughters early years partly as a result of an overactive brain with a tendency to imagine horrible, gut-wrenching things.
“I want to help!” I thought, “But I didn’t know these people!? They don’t know me how can I….”
I quickly remembered the request I had made to the Master of the Universe (No, not He-Man) only a few minutes earlier. Perhaps engaging with people more often would reveal more opportunities to show grace as I feel I have been shown by my God in my lifetime. Could this perhaps be the “Holy Idea” behind “Holy Idea Tees”?
Yes. Indeed, I think it is.
The girl had inquired to me about PayPal as a source to accept donations for the family. I guided her on how to do so and requested her to email me once the fund was set up and I would donate. A few hours later, that tithe that was burning a hole in my “pocket” was now with someone who needed it far worse than I did. Granted, it is but a small consolation to losing a child but I feel there was a reason behind it and the fact I could touch their lives with some grace amongst so much grief was really special to me.
When I became self-employed, I didn’t have overwhelming confidence in myself. I wasn’t sure that selling t-shirts on eBay was a legitimate career! I can sit here now though and begin to realize that a guy like me can quit his job to sell t-shirts on eBay and actually make a legitimate business out of it. The excitement behind these words stretches far beyond monetary gain however. I feel as though there is a purpose behind what I do. I revel in anticipation to discover who I may be able to bless with my tithe in the future.
“Thank you God for revealing to me why I am doing what I’m doing. Oh… and thanks for my wives boobs. Boobs are cool. Good job God.”
If you’d like to donate to the family who lost the baby then click right here.