It’s the Thought that “Counts”

Offering Box
Offering Box

There is a sweet little boy attending our church, who reminds me of Count Zinzendorf.


His grandmother is raising him in a large, friendly home in the country, because his momma is having trouble in life right now. Zinzendorf was born to a recent widow, who then remarried a common soldier who didn’t really like the boy. Both she and Zinzendorf’s grandmother thought it better to prepare him for the life of a count by letting him grow up in the grandmother’s castle.

Our little boy is quite bright, as was the count.

He has an amazing interest in the things of God, memorizing prayers, for instance, and wanting to pray them aloud in church like the men do. Ditto with Zinzendorf.

But the big similarity I see is this:

He loves putting money in the offering boxes inside the entrances of our building. Being only six years old, he has no income for putting into the offering boxes. His interest in these boxes is constant. He’s been told the money is for God, for God’s work, etc. One day he caught the church treasurer taking the money out to be deposited later, in the local bank. This would be what most churches would do, but our little guy was completely appalled because he thought the dear lady was robbing God’s money.

She was quick to explain to him that she was not taking the money for herself, but only taking it out of the box to make sure it stayed safe so it can be used for God’s work.

This set the little wheels inside his head to turning. What else could he think but that this church treasurer had an “in” with God Almighty. He was totally awed, then.

And he had a plan.

Knowing a bit about writing notes and taking notes, he has confused the two. Sitting between his gramma and his auntie every Sunday, and watching them take notes in church, he’s begun imitating this practice. Whatever the preacher says, that gets through his normal-six-year-old distractedness, he writes down, asking the adults around him for help with spelling.

He is taking notes.

Then the word-confusion begins. When church is over, he folds up his paper and inserts it into the offering box, commenting confidently, “This is a note for God.” He fully expects the church secretary to make sure it is delivered.

And the comparison, here, to Zinzendorf? As a child, he used to write prayers on small pieces of paper and climb to the top of the highest turret in his grandmother’s castle, tossing them out the window, to get them to God.

The townspeople would find these small prayer offerings floating around on the ground very touching and inspiring .

We’ve got a similarity there, too.

Published by Katharine

Katharine is a writer, speaker, women's counselor, and professional mom. Happily married over 50 years to the same gorgeous guy. She loves cooking amazing homegrown food, celebrating grandbabies, her golden-egg-laying hennies, and watching old movies with popcorn. Her writing appears at Medium, Arkansas Women Bloggers, Contently, The Testimony Train, Taste Arkansas, Only in Arkansas, and in several professional magazines and one anthology.

12 thoughts on “It’s the Thought that “Counts”

  1. O, Katharine! Though many will find this story “cute” and “touching,” I am convicted. My faith is not that of this little child. Do I really believe when I put my money in the plate or the box that it is going to God in the same way that this boy does? I know our church treasurer (and often hand him a check directly after service when the choir is singing during the offertory and I don’t have a chance to put the check in the plate). Does my adult knowledge of banking and the church’s budget get in the way of my faith?
    Thank you posting this account, thus allowing the Lord to speak to me through it.

    1. Oh, I know, Ruth! Sometimes I have to swallow pretty hard when I realize such love and faith has been entrusted to us, in a simple wooden country church. He nearly shines with goodness. So easy to love!

  2. ‘It’s the thought that counts.’ Right. They’ll be reading thoughts soon just to get at that money; clever lot.

    Katharine, regarding your comment on ‘Branding your blog: let’s get visual:
    -“Les, you are the first person I’ve ever known of, who considered the benefits of writer’s block! Bravo! And thanks!”- Writers block is nothing more than the stew simmering away, sooner or later it’s going to boil over, and then you need to eat it quickly. Been there.

    1. Hello, Lex, thanks for your comment, and Welcome to Home’s Cool!
      Actually, it’s not much like your humorous comment. He loves GIVING and loves it so much, we often hand him OUR money to put in the box, which pleases him very much. He really is a joy, not like some kids.

  3. from the mouth of babes. i remember when we were kids and in the car going to church. if one of my brothers complained about “why do we have to go to church” my folks would say “why we are going to God’s house—we need to thank Him and talk to Him”…on the way into church one Sunday, one of the priests was standing by the entrance. my youngest brother (maybe 2 at the time) ran over to him, gave Him a big hug and said “good morning God”….
    I remember all of us praying oh so many times as we went through our daily family time….and being so wide eyed and grateful that we had the chance to speak with God.

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