I was pastoring in Lincoln, Illinois and really didn’t have the money to go to camp meeting, but my district pastor Norman Jones was a godly and generous man. He paid my room there in the old campground for the week. That took care of my room. Now I had to take care of my gasoline and food. I had the fleshly plan all worked out. I would get up too late for breakfast and have one of their famous camp meeting cheap cups of coffee.
Then for lunch I would make my way to the Pizza Hut and for a small pittance I would eat their noon buffet until I could barely move. Of course I wouldn’t feel like eating the rest of the day. Before bed I would have a small soda. It was a great plan. I got down to the last day with one dollar in my pocket and I had to cross the toll bridge at Chester, Illinois to pick up my wife in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. For that purpose, I had reserved a single dollar bill in my pocket.
They were receiving a missions offering and T. L. Lowery was receiving it. I stood there serving on the usher committee holding my chicken bucket, ready to receive the offering. God began to speak to my heart about that last dollar in my pocket. T. L. doesn’t take short offerings. All the while he is encouraging us to give, the Holy Spirit is having an altar call in my heart for that last dollar. Finally prayer over the offering is offered and the music begins. I reach into my pocket and shove that dollar down into the bottom of the bucket. “Here God,” I thought to myself.
I was anything but a cheerful giver at that point. The bucket goes down and comes back numerous times. I have to shove the bills down lest they spill over and send them back again. As I finally finish my section, the enemy is standing there waiting for me. “You primed the pump with your dollar; now take it back,” his whispers in his voice of deception. It would have been quite simple to curl my hand over the edge of the bucket and palm the dollar back into my possession.
Finally the head usher comes to get the bucket and the hardest thing I’d ever done was give that dollar up. I go to the back of the auditorium and stand there looking for an empty seat. I’m thinking to myself, “Okay God, now You’ve got to get me home.”
At that moment the exit door opens and a man I’d never seen before walks in. He had brown hair and and simple brown suit. He just reaches out his hand to shake mine. I thought perhaps he knew me. He clasped my hand and I’ll never forget his words. “The master told me to give you this.”
With that he walked back out the door from whence he came. There in my hand was a $20 bill. A fortune at that time in my life. Was he an angel or merely a saint who listened to God? Only God knows, but at that moment he taught me the importance of obeying him in all things…a dollars worth of obedience goes a long way.
I like to think God arms angels with $20 bills.