Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?


I am not one of those people who can readily quote the Bible verse, chapter, and book, but I do know certain Bible stories well.  One such story is about the wealthy people who gave large sums of money in the temple, while a poor woman entered the temple and offered her last two coins.  At first glance, her offering paled in comparison to the much larger donations, until you realize that she gave all she had, while the wealthy donors gave a mere fraction of their fortune.  This story of this woman’s generosity always has inspired me.  On Friday, I was treated to a similar incident at the day shelter for homeless men where I work.

I am fond of saying that these men are among the finest men in Louisville, and they also are among the most generous men in Louisville.  As I have shared in previous posts, I have been the very grateful recipient of small items from some of our guests that now are among my most prized possessions.  There’s the beautiful drift wood sculpture from Clayton.  The light up teddy bear holding an “I Love You” sign from Maurice.  The small blue stuffed animal dog from a gentleman whose name I do not know.  The ring from Josh.  And now, the dime pictured above from Chris.

Chris is known for his unique sense of style, his outgoing personality, and his generosity.  On a regular basis, Chris appears at the day shelter with small gifts, such as rings from a gumball machine and small toy instruments, that he distributes with great pleasure to the staff members.  I have been fortunate enough to receive a smiley face ring that reminded him of me and a plastic ring that he thought was beautiful, and on Friday, he presented me with the dime that is pictured above.

As I helped out in the coffee room, Chris gave me not only his coffee order, but he gave me that dime.  As he did, he said, “Miss Kristi, this dime is rare and is worth twelve million dollars, and I want you to have it.”  When I heard how valuable this particular dime is, I insisted that he keep it, to which he emphatically said, “No; you need it more than I do for you and your girls”, and he walked away.  Another guest, who had heard our conversation and who happened to be a collector of coins, asked if he could see the dime.  Upon inspection, he said, “Miss Kristi, you know that this is just a regular dime, right?  He’s just crazy, and I didn’t want you to get your hopes up and take this dime to some coin place and be embarrassed when they told you it’s not worth anything.”  I thanked him for his appraisal and assured him that this dime most definitely is priceless and valuable to me, to which he shook his head and laughingly said, “Only you can make crazy seem normal.”  I took that as a compliment.

That dime may be only worth ten cents, but to someone like Chris and the woman from the Bible story, when you have literally nothing to your name, except for the clothes on your back, it is everything.  It is humbling to be the recipient of someone who is giving you their all indeed.  Thank you, Chris.

That’s another story . . .


Categories: That's Another Story

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