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“But we can’t afford it!”

“Viola, if we’re going to follow Jesus, we need to follow Him all the way, and that means giving a tenth of what we make back to God.”

“But how are we going to keep ice in the ice box?”

“The Lord will provide.  You’ll see.  We just have to be faithful.”

Six-year-old Nadine, the oldest of her siblings, hid in the hallway doing her best not to be heard by her parents.  She knew she shouldn’t be listening, but couldn’t help it.  Something had changed in her little family, and she needed to understand.

The year was 1930.  Nadine’s daddy, the center of her little universe, had been to a revival meeting and decided to follow Jesus Christ.  After his example and in response to his unbridled enthusiasm and joy, Nadine’s mother had done the same.  Now the two were working out the particulars of this new life they’d chosen.

Unsure what to think about it all at first, Nadine had been watching and listening.  Her daddy, Bonnie Bill Collins, had always been a gentle and energetic man, but now he seemed lit up from the inside.  Determined that his little family would know and believe the simple message of grace that had melted his heart and made it better, he’d been devouring his Bible and passing the contents along.

Always a parent-pleaser, Nadine wanted to believe, but needed proof that Jesus was real before she put her hope in Him.  Hiding in the hallway, eavesdropping on her parents, she hatched a plan.  Nadine would put this Jesus to the test, and if He passed, she would give Him her heart.

For the next many months, Nadine watched.  From her daddy’s lap, she watched him give, and from her bedroom window, she watched the iceman come.

He never missed. Not once.

Quietly convinced, Nadine gave her little heart to Jesus.

After her example, Nadine’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren would one day do the same, and Jesus would light them all up from the inside.

This, the story of my maternal grandmother, is both an inspiring and cautionary tale.

On one hand, the choices you make impact others.  On the other hand, the choices you make impact others.

And you never know who’s watching.