She couldn't believe it. When I passed the offering plate, the young woman in back piped up:
"What? You ask for money from homeless people?"
I told her we have always taken an offering at Operation Nightwatch worship, that it's a community effort, that guests give, volunteers give, that I give, that 100% goes to support food pantries in the downtown area, that not a cent goes to the ministry of Operation Nightwatch or the food we provide each week. That not a cent goes to me or ever will.
I told her we give what we have, even if that's only a brief prayer on behalf of someone else who is in need. That small things are great things to God, that God will do good things with whatever any of us can give with love.
When it came time for the Lord's Supper/Communion, she came forward. We gave to her freely, despite her occasional disruptive behavior during worship. I don't know if she noticed, but someday she will. May God watch over her soul.
And, yes, we ask people to give what they can, always have, always will. And we are blessed to do so. After all, a penny from a person who has no more is a greater fortune than $100 from a person who has many more hundreds of dollars. This doesn't go unnoticed by God. It doesn't go unblessed by God.
We don't have to give. We get to. God has blessed us to. Love was only ever meant to be given away. And we all have some to give. We have all received without limit.