I'm beginning to think I have a sign pinned to my back that says 'Charity case.' Or, perhaps, I'm wearing it on my face, in the form of blood-shot eyes framed in black. Regardless, in the past two weeks, I've thrice been been victim to what I've called a Chance F-D-B-ing.
The first occurrence was in Fazoli's. After porting two small children to a table--while carrying a pager in my mouth, balancing a booster seat on my head, and steering a high chair with my right leg--a lady from a neighboring church in Winona Lake sneaked up behind me. "Hi. We wanted to pay for your dinner. We remember how hard this stage was." She set two Five Dollar Bills on the table and returned to her husband.
Less than one week later, my in-laws agreed to babysit while Liz and I went out to eat. She won a gift card to a swank, local restaurant; it was burning a hole in our appetites. When her parents arrived at our house, her dad reached into his back pocket, retrieved his wallet, and pulled out some cash. "Take your time. This should be enough for two movie tickets, popcorn and a drink," he said, handing me the bills.
The third F-D-B-ing happened at the grocery store. An unexpected hand grasped mine. "Get something special for the girls," it said. I turned and immediately recognized a colleague. He sped off without another word. He had slipped me a five spot.
Three chance encounters; three acts of charity. (Is this tax-deductible?)
As a theologian, I use the term 'chance' rather loosely. Obviously, God is trying to teach me something (and/or empower the cash-carrying culprits). And I think the lesson is this: In God's economy, there is no place for chance, but plenty of space for cash.
Now if I could just convince my VISA card of this...