On Father’s Day, I stopped for an early breakfast at an area restaurant – a treat to myself before heading back to the office for the day. I had worked all day Saturday, and Sunday would be no different – deadlines loomed.
I sat at the communal table; I love visiting with people when given the chance. A coffee pot and water carafe were provided, and my order taken.
It wasn’t long before a couple of ladies sat across from me, and I shared my coffee and water, knowing that more would arrive for them shortly.
They noticed the Community Foundation logo on my golf shirt (I expected no visitors at the office on a holiday), and started quizzing me about the organization, what we did, who we fund, and so on. I’m afraid my excitement in talking about the work shows, and it was a lovely exchange!
After the food arrived and I prayed over it, I was able to learn more about my new acquaintances. One used to live in Savannah, the other was her friend visiting from the northeast – a counselor who works with children.
She was just as passionate about her work as I was about mine, and I always feel right at home with mission-driven people. Her face lit up while talking about the needs of children. We shared great conversation, cuisine, coffee and caring about community.
They got up to leave as I lingered over my coffee a few more minutes. And suddenly I was asked if I was a Christian. I’m sure my saying grace and the cross on my bracelet gave them a hint, but I offered a surprised, “Yes, Ma’am.”
My new counselor friend reached into her purse and handed me $120 cash, asking that I put it in one of our funds that supports children. Amazing!
She declined the offer of a receipt. “Just put it where it will help children,” she said.
How often does a total stranger hand you that much cash? My heart was soaring! What an amazing gift! What an amazing person!
I’ve thought about this event often since. And a quote I found explains the spring in my step and the joy in my heart that made this so special: “To be trusted is a greater complement than being loved.” – George MacDonald
I suppose that my faith played a role in her offering trust, but I believe that our shared passion about helping professions was just as important.
The rest of the story: I quickly decided to put the gift into the Hopeful Horizons Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation. One of their many services is providing counseling for children who have suffered abuse or assault. I hope that a number of you, who live generously, will consider offering similar support to this great organization through this permanent fund.
Trusting me was her decision. Proving her right to do so was mine. And trust is perhaps the best thing I’ve had for breakfast in a long, long time.
Denise K. Spencer is president and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. cf-lowcountry.org