January 25, 2013

Emmaus Walk / Debra Tomaselli

Want to make a little change for the New Year?

Debra TomaselliI rummaged through my desk, searching for the 2013 pledge card that our parish mailed to us. For weeks, I delayed returning it, trying to ignore the small inner voice urging me to increase our monthly contribution, but the deadline was now.

I never doubted that my husband and I would match our expiring pledge, but I struggled with the relentless idea that we should increase the amount.

The timing couldn’t have been worse.

We’d just taken on a car loan, our insurance rates doubled, and a recent hospital stay delivered a big unexpected bill. Additionally, television news blasted reports of America’s looming financial cliff, which would leave us with increased taxes and smaller paychecks.

Why would we increase our tithe at a time like this?

I found the pledge card in a stack of papers and reviewed the giving guide, containing suggested amounts to make one small step in financial commitment to the Church. I studied the numbers, folded the brochure in my hands, and listened again to the still small voice urging me to make the leap. Finally, I completed it, committing to the increased amount.

Then I drove to the church, pledge card in hand. As I arrived, I phoned my husband, hoping that he would talk me out of the increased commitment.

However, when he suggested we maintain the status quo, wait to increase our pledge, or offer a smaller upturn, I became convinced we needed to make the step in faith now.

“You know God won’t let us drop,” I finally said. “I just feel like we are being called to do this. There’s always a reason. God will not be outdone in generosity.”

I hung up, entered the church, and delivered our pledge card. The commitment was made. The increase wasn’t a large amount, but it was a giant leap for us.

Later that afternoon, an endorsement to our insurance policy arrived in the mail. Although it had accomplished the requested change, something didn’t look quite right, so I e-mailed Scott, our agent.

Minutes later, he responded with an answer that I never expected.

“This is to confirm I have corrected the endorsement to your insurance policy,” Scott’s e-mail read. He proceeded to advise that we would get money back and defined the exact annual amount.

I gasped, punching a few numbers into the calculator. What was the yearly increase in our pledge?

Indeed, as the calculations appeared, they confirmed my suspicions. The increase in our pledge was offset by the unexpected refund. In fact, the refund was larger, leaving us with lots of change in our pockets.

The unexpected news brought a Scripture verse to mind. “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so that there will be food enough in my temple; if you do, I will open up the windows of heaven for you and pour out a blessing so great you won’t have room enough to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you!” (Mal 3:10)

(Debra Tomaselli writes from Altamonte Springs, Florida. She can be reached at dtomaselli@cfl.rr.com.)

Local site Links: