The [Not] Cheerful Giver

click the image to enlarge it Bill Keane gets one right! I typically do not […]

Lauren R.E. Larkin / 7.15.10

click the image to enlarge it

Bill Keane gets one right! I typically do not like Family Circus (it’s sugary portrayal of humanity and family life leave me with a headache); however, this one caught my attention. PJ (the youngest member of the Family Circus) nonchalantly tosses his coin in the offering basket; he thinks nothing of it. But then the offering basket moves to the next row, and PJ realizes the permanence of his actions: he has truly given his coin away. At this realization, PJ lets out a a rather large tantrum. He waves his arms, points at the basket, and [I imagine] he shouts out: “Hey, that’s MY coin! I want MY coin BACK!

This comic strip deeply resonates with me. And it’s not for the reasons one may think: it’s not because the child is throwing a public tantrum which is exasperating and embarrassing his parents (that would be a safe assumption, considering that is my life). Rather, the reason lies with PJ. I am familiar with that place, with that tantrum. I nonchalantly throw my offering into the plate and think nothing of it. But, as the ever encroaching end of the month and zero balance sneaks upon me or when the time I allotted to a ministry beckons to me, my heart tantrums as I realize the permanence of my charitable actions: Wait, what?! I want MY coin BACK! I know I said I would but I don’t want to, this is MY time! My fallen nature and humanity is exposed: I am not the cheerful giver I thought I was, it turns out.

Let’s call a spade a spade.

I’m broken and in desperate need of the Cross.