For the last several weeks at our church, St. James’ Episcopal, I’ve been noticing pennies in the collection plate and outside the front door of the church. Usually, the pennies are lined up along a metal railing leading to the front door.
I wondered where they were coming from and why somebody would bother leaving just a few pennies for the church. I figured they were probably left by some children and were more trouble for the church office to count and deposit than they were worth.
About two weeks ago, the mystery was solved. A homeless man who calls himself Clint has been leaving them at the church during the week, and almost always on Sunday during the 8 a.m. service. When I am an usher, I can hear him come into the narthex. He won’t go inside the nave, so I go outside to greet him. I notice that he has put a few pennies on a table in the narthex. He’s pretty scruffy looking, but very friendly. He says that he has done “work” for the Episcopal church in the past, but doesn’t elaborate. I invite him in, but he says he needs to go. I tell him “God bless you.” Then he gets on his rickety bike, pulling some kind of trailer with all his worldly belongings and pedals off.
He obviously doesn’t have much in the way of material possessions. But he has a wealth beyond what many of us have in our bank accounts. I think we should all try to emulate Clint.