Lesson on Impact from a Tip Jar


Have you ever had an inanimate object speak? I don’t know about you, but when non-living things say stuff, I sit up and pay attention. Lately at work, my tip jar’s been talking. No, really. And it’s been teaching me an important lesson. That is, that little things add up. Quarters become dollars and dollars become a hundred dollars and a hundred dollars pay bills. Of course there are really generous tippers who make a big impact in the cup, but without the little gifts, the big ones would get pretty lonely. If only people who could give a lot gave, I would be a lot more broke.

Little things become big things and big things can become huge. I guess that’s why I write this little blog. It’s a small thing, looking for small changes. But small things don’t always stay small. I believe there’s another dynamic at work here too—that of the miraculous, the unexplained. I swear, sometimes when I go to empty that tip jar, dollars have birthed dollars in the cup. I have no idea where they came from. We don’t offer our small bits in a purely naturalistic universe, where 1 + 1 always equals 2. It may seem far-fetched, but crazier things have happened.

Last week I was looking through one of those world-aid gift catalogs, reading about gifts of sheep, cows, education, clothing, clean water, rescue and medical supplies. On every page I got pulled in, saying, “Ooo, that sounds important. I want to give that.” I was especially drawn to the big ticket items, big projects, and always bummed at the idea of only “buying a share of a cow,” etc. I felt like it wasn’t worth giving if I couldn’t give it all myself. I felt underwhelmed by my little bit, my little offering. But in my mind I heard my tip jar talking again. If I give my little bit, and other people give theirs, the poor won’t be quite as broke.

Don’t hold back your little bit, ashamed to not have more. Little things become big things, and sometimes even give birth to miracles.

Five loaves

Two fish

One hungry world of needs

And the hands of a very big God

Is your little gift really so small?


(Inspired to buy a cow? Check out the World Vision Gift Catalog.)


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