Can You Spare a Little Change?

spare_changeTypically I wouldn’t call myself an elitist. As far as I can tell, on the surface I don’t have any reason to be. But the other day I had an experience where I felt the sense that I was infected by the mentality despite my sincere efforts to discipline my thoughts and acts in the direction toward universal equality. It was a private experience–one of those moments where I get to see whether I am full of crap or not. Once you read the experience, you might think that I am being a little over-dramatic about it, but to me, it was an experience worth contemplating.

What happened was that I was about to go into Dunkin’ Donuts to use a coupon that was on my Dunkin’s app. In order to use the coupon, I had to use the app. But, my app was low on funds. That meant I had to reload it. But I go to DD so infrequently, that I didn’t want to charge the $10 minimum on my app when I didn’t know the next time I would be there again. There is only one DD in my city and I don’t go to that area much. I looked to see if I had any cash to load on enough just to pay for the coffee. I had no bills, but I had a bunch of loose change that I had thrown in a pocket in my backpack. It was a quarter, some dimes, a couple nickles and a whole lot of pennies. When I counted it up, it was enough to load my card. At first I was grateful, but the next thought that entered my mind was that the people in the store would probably look down on me.

I imagined that people in the line or the server would see me in my jeans and hoodie trying to load bunch of change on my app so I could get a discounted coffee and think I was homeless or really poor. For a second, I almost considered loading the $10 on, but then I checked myself. Why in the world would I be ashamed of using change? Some people would be thrilled to have that pocket full of change and would go into that Dunkin’s excited that they could get a coffee. Realizing that the false shadow of shame that is so pervasive in our society was trying to get me, I shook those silly thoughts off and went in there and got my discounted coffee.  I decided to use the situation as a mindfulness exercise. I watched the thoughts that arose as I counted out my pennies to the manager at the register. I could feel myself wanting to apologize to her and the person behind me, but I transmuted the thought by entering into a mindset of gratitude for the lessons of the moment. I could feel my compassion increasing and the whole experience starting feeling really Holy.

The coolest thing out of it all was that the manager looked me in the eye and said, “I appreciate you.” I don’t know why she said it, but it felt very sincere and I appreciated her too. I walked away from that seemingly nothing of an incident keenly aware of the subtle pressures that we put on each other to conform to societal standards of value and worth. Additionally, I thought about how we falsely tie money to those value assignments. Of course this is nothing new, but in that little exercise, I saw how easily that illusion could be unraveled if we simply pay attention to the thoughts that might arise in our consciousness and question their validity. If we can see the falseness in them, it actually doesn’t take much to shift them.

In a time when so many people are talking about the need for change, it is interesting how many of us think that it’s someone else who has to change.  I get that in a lot of areas that is probably true.  But I come from the the place that change starts with me.  In that light, I look to Jesus’ teaching:

Matthew 7

“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor,’Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.”

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17 thoughts on “Can You Spare a Little Change?

  1. I hesitate to make this response… but I think I will anyway. But before I get into that, let me say that I really appreciate you for sharing this. I sense that you make a point of living your life very humbly, but like any American, if we are honest, there are at least a few stubborn spots in life – and anyway MOST of us are not really aiming at humility at all. Thus, I think your post is needed. I hope a lot of people read it. AND… I think just maybe what you have shared here is shared in such a way that anyone convicted with pride or inclined to live more humbly will identify with you. At least I really hope so…

    Now to my hesitance.

    I fear that sharing my story risks a paradoxical kind of pride. A proud of being humble kind of pride. A been there done that type sentiment. Well, maybe so. But I offer it as humbly as I can…

    I invite you to check out the Fat Beggars blog. I am thinking of a specific post that resonates with yours. But would love to have you check out more and perhaps join the conversation there. Your kind of attitude and perspective is highly valued there.

    See this link:

    https://fatbeggars.wordpress.com/2016/10/07/have-this-attitude-among-yourselves-humility/

    Thanx

    Agent X
    Fat Beggars School of Prophets
    Lubbock, Texas (USA)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Just me being curious and commented:
    Rather than keep writing, GSHJ invited me to keep reading – to look out rather than in – to look for Him IN others rather than seek Him direct – to see Him in others, rather than just me and Him “one-to-one”.

    He never disappoints!

    Here is what he gave me today: a connection of a connection – a link to another link. So my thanks to Agent X (http://fatbeggars.wordpress.com) for re-blogging the post below. I love the connections (and re-blogs) our Lord and Father offers.

    How about you … ?

    “I imagined that people in the line or the server would see me in my jeans and hoodie trying to load bunch of change on my app so I could get a discounted coffee and think I was homeless or really poor. For a second, I almost considered loading the $10 on, but then I checked myself. Why in the world would I be ashamed of using change? Some people would be thrilled to have that pocket full of change and would go into that Dunkin’s excited that they could get a coffee.”
    The Roofless Church: https://therooflesschurch.com/2017/01/30/can-you-spare-a-little-change/

    (As always for reblogs – comments are disabled here. Please add them at The Roofless Church, thank you)

    Like

    1. Hi Paul. I’m amazed that people are responding or even reblogging this post. Must be a God thing. I wrote it thinking that, in the unlikely event that anyone read it, they’d think I was making a big deal over nothing. I almost felt embarrassed to even write it. Not because of admitting to my weakness but because I thought people would take it to be uninteresting. But when I prayed about it, it felt clear that I should write it even if no one on earth ever read it. I learned something by writing this. This blog doesn’t belong to me.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. “This blog doesn’t belong to me.” What a profound and wonderful comment.

        I learned that all I should (and can and will) do is lovingly (and with a lot of confusion sometimes) craft His “pebble” as best I can. BUT – once I drop that into the still waters of this blogworld – any ripples are not mine (or even any of my business a lot of the time). They are always His and whoever He invited to hear that “plop” – and then allowed Him to “ripple” them.

        Something else I learned. He doesn’t ask me to change anyone – He only asks me to change me. Now if that isn’t a “light cross” to carry (without any burden at all) – then I don’t know what is! 🙂

        I love this connection stuff! It is what He is so generous with! And so proud of you for your part in all of this today! THANK YOU!

        Liked by 1 person

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