A local man I admire, Gene Miller, recently told me this story:
He also heard of a dear older woman who lived alone two doors up the road from Lehman’s Kidron store. I didn’t ask her permission to use her name, so I’ll call her “Anne”. She, too, needed something important.
Gene needed praying supporters. Anne needed financial support. In a stroke of genius, Gene quietly offered her $10 an hour to pray for him and the work he was doing on a daily basis.
Now I’ve never heard of anyone who tried to put a dollar value on something so unmeasurable as prayer. (One of the things that makes me admire Gene is that he thinks WAY outside the box.) One could argue that $10 an hour is too much or too little, depending on your personal view of the importance of prayer. Knowing something of Gene’s and Anne’s respective financial situations leads me to believe the offer was about right.
I’ve never heard of anyone who took prayer so seriously that they would punch a time clock for it. But “Anne” is a very special woman.
Regardless of what you think of it, the very strange and unusual agreement between Anne and Gene kindled a series of weekly phone calls that built trust, understanding and caring between two people from different worlds and different generations. It created a relationship between two people who (even in a small town like Kidron) never would have known each other otherwise.
Sometimes it takes money to make things happen. But it always takes relationships to make them count for anything. This holiday season, I’d like to make my relationships the most important thing in my life.