The Miracle of Lent

What are you giving up for Lent?
We Christians love to ask that question and compare the degrees of personal sacrifice and hardship we are willing to endure for a few weeks late winter..early Spring.
Christian #1 “I’ve gone without chocolate for a month, thought I’d never get through it.”
Christian #2 “Well, I haven’t had the TV on since Fat Tuesday and missed out on the best parts of the Olympics and “Survivor.”  Who was kicked off?  No don’t tell me until Easter Sunday.”
I guess the main reason people give up pleasurable things during lent is to serve as a reminder of Christ’s suffering.
I usually don’t take part in the giving-up thing because I’m always reminded of His suffering this time of year from an episode in my youth.lent (340x300)
During the week of Ash Wednesday, every kid in Sunday School class at First Lutheran Church in Volga would be issued a container about the size of a pop can. It had a slot in the top and was wrapped in holy purple construction paper with our names written on it.
It was our responsibility to fill those cans with coins during Lent. The money would then be donated to the poor or to foreign missions or something. We were to bring those Lenten Coin Containers back to church with us on Easter Sunday. Then each class would march up front to deposit them on the altar demonstrating the financial sacrifice we had made for our risen Lord.
Both my two brothers and I always had good intentions of putting every spare piece of change we had into those cans but would wind up blowing it on candy, the pin-ball machine at City Cafe or the must-have spring edition of baseball cards that just arrived at Westaby’s Clover Farm store.
Before long it was the Saturday night before Easter morning and we’d only managed to drop a few measly pennies in those cans over the last 40 days and now faced the embarrassment of having the whole congregation discover what sinful, lazy cheapskates those Lund boys were.
And that’s when God worked His miracle!
As we reached for our mostly empty Lenten Coin Containers and prepared to face the scorn of the masses at church, we were shocked to find the cans were suddenly heavy..filled nearly to the brim with pennies, nickels, dimes and a few quarters.
A guardian angel had come in the night to save us!
I think of that wonderful angel a lot. She was not only there for me at Easter but anytime I needed someone to bail me out of trouble with no questions asked.
I sure miss you mom.

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  1. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. The “Miracle” that in our coin containers was an object lesson that has lasted a lifetime. Good memories of your sweet Mom and ours as well.

  2. Boy, that was a fun reminder of the past! I remember those cans, too. And, I certainly remember the cards at my mom and dad’s store. I also remember your mom – thanks for a quick trip back to my childhood. We were lucky to grow up in Volga!!

  3. You have a wonderful gift of jogging memories from the past. I’m sure the can I brought up aad placed on the altar,maybe next to yours,was also padded by my mother.

  4. Ours were called “mite” boxes, and for the life of me I could never put mine together! I had to take mine home and have my mom assemble mine! Glad they aren’t passing them out this year either, first Easter season without my sweet mama.

  5. To this day I will never forget her meals, hugs but the best of all her expression when she got a microwave. Uffda! I loved having another grandma! Love you!

  6. Very nice story. Yes, our moms really are our guardian angels. We didn’t have the tins growing up at Immanuel in Elk Point; we had folders for dimes (and later quarters), although I don’t recall why we collected them.

  7. Yes Doug remember those Lenten coin cans well. During my era, the rambunctious boys of my class would be rattling theirs before SS opening exercises, & hitting one another on the heads w/ their Bibles or song books ? Such juviniles. Yep Moms saved the day with their many sacrifices. Blest be their memory.

  8. That was great Doug! We really were luck to be born in that town in that time line. All those mom were very special and all of them went out of there way to look out for all of us in so many ways. Thank you for your memories of that.

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