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Just Ten Percent
By: Colleen McCormick Asmus

Imagine for a minute that you are cold and hungry. Home is a cardboard box by the side of the road, and you have so close to nothing that everything you own fits into a shopping cart you “borrowed” from the Winn Dixie parking lot.

Imagine one morning as you sit contemplating all the things you will not be having for breakfast, a limo pulls up next to your “home” and the window in the back slowly lowers. A kindly looking older man pokes his head out and says to you, “You look like you could use a good meal. Why don’t you come with me?”

And although it really isn’t something you ordinarily do, the world being the way it is and all these days, you are filled with the certainty that he means you no harm and you want desperately to go with him. But you are also suddenly acutely aware of how filthy you are and how lovely his car is, so you thank him, but no, you’re just too dirty to get in his nice clean car.

“Really”, he says, “I hadn’t noticed. At any rate, the car can be cleaned, and so can you. Please! Come with me.”

He opens the door for you, and you slide inside. The soft, comfortable leather seating and the gentle sway of the car lull you to sleep, and you wake to find you are parked in the circular driveway of a home that is nothing short of a mansion. The older gentleman is gently shaking your shoulder. “Come on,” he says, “You must be starving.”

You walk up the steps and he opens the door for you. Inside stands a young man, clearly the older gentleman’s son. “Son”, he says, “we have a guest.”

You know his son. You have seen his picture in the newspapers you wrap yourself up in to keep warm at night. He’s Princeton educated and involved with easily a dozen charitable organizations and foundations. And he’s well dressed and immaculately groomed, so you are shocked when he comes up to you and hugs you closely, like a long lost brother.

“So wonderful to have you here”, the son says. “You’ll want to freshen up a little before dinner, won’t you? Let me show you the way.”

He takes you upstairs and shows you your room with the adjoining bath, gets you some soft, clean towels, and gives you his own freshly laundered robe to wear. “When you’re done,” he says, “I’ll have something for you to wear in the bedroom closet.”

The warm water feels incredible against your skin, and you stay in the shower probably longer than you should. When you finally do get out and go to the bedroom closet for something to wear, you find it filled with beautiful clothes. You take an outfit from the end, thinking this surely is what your host intended.

The gentleman and his son are already in the dining room when you go downstairs. “I wasn’t quite sure what you wanted me to wear”, you say, “so I picked this. I hope it’s all right.” “Of course it’s all right,” the son says, “everything in the closet belongs to you.” But his words don’t fully register with you, so intent you are on the gnawing hunger in your belly.

You sit down to a fabulous meal. The more you eat, the more plentiful the food seems to be, although no one ever comes to replenish it. Finally, you are satisfied, and you linger at the table with the man and his son over the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had.

“I’ve been thinking,” the gentleman says. “You know, you’re welcome to stay here for as long as you like. But it occurs to me that a fine person such as you might soon grow bored with this arrangement.”

“How about if I set you up with a job, a good job. I have friends who would be happy to have someone like you working with them. To help you get started, I’ll even give you a little down payment for a house of your own. But I’d like it if you would visit us regularly, let us know how you’re doing.”

You are astonished. Tears well up in your eyes, and for a moment you are unable to speak. Then a chill passes through you as the thought occurs that this man is clearly demented. How sick to pick people up off the street and promise them the world. He’s just jerking you around, having a laugh or two at your expense. Why would someone do all of this for you, a nobody, a bum off the street?

“Because I love you,” he says, and your head snaps around to look at him. Had you been thinking out loud? How did he know? “I love you, and I want good things for you,” he says again, and you just know he speaks the truth and all these things are to be. So you ask him, in a small voice, “How can I ever thank you?”

And if he said to you “Just give 10% of what you earn to my foundation, so my work can continue”, wouldn’t you think that hardly seemed like enough? Wouldn’t you think that was the best deal ever? Wouldn’t you find a way?

I ask you to consider today that but for God and his son, we would all in some fashion be cold and hungry and filthy and wanting. Can YOU find a way to give Him 10%, so that His work can continue?

By: Colleen McCormick Asmus