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Saturday, October 18, 2014

"A Very Special Offering" by James Emery White

On a Thursday afternoon, a young woman came by the office to give me something. She was going to put it in the offering plate, but decided to just hand it to me.
 
I was in a meeting, so she left it at the front desk.
 
On the outside it said, “Jim White,” and underneath, “Be careful…sharp objects inside.”
 
On the back it read, “I thought I was going to put this in an offering plate but I think it would be best to give you directly.”
 
I opened the envelope, and inside a plastic bag were razor blades.
 
And a letter.
 
I asked her if I could share it, and she said I could:
 
“I have been coming to your church on and off now since I was in 5th grade. I am now 23…When I was 12 years old I started cutting myself. Now my arms are covered in an overwhelming amount of scars, but I am proud to say there are no open cuts. I have not cut for probably a year now, but I still have razor blades that are hidden around my room…
 
“I quit when I was about to cut one day but heard Jesus in my ear saying, ‘I bled enough.’
 
“He took my pain on the cross and I no longer needed to take it out on myself.
 
“But I realized by holding on to razor blades I am not fully letting go of the pain and addiction to cutting. I want to fully let it go now...
 
“It says in the Bible, ‘Cast all your anxiety on him for He cares for you.’ So I’m doing that today. This is an offering plate and I am offering to Jesus today more than any amount of money I could ever offer Him. These are all my razor blades that I have keep hidden around in different places of my reach just in case.
 
“I am handing it over to God and I trust you also with this as well. Thank you for all you and this church have done in my life...”
 
And then she signed her name.
 
I have those blades in my desk drawer.
 
I will keep them there for as long as I pastor.
 
James Emery White
 
  
Editor’s Note
 
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which he also served as their fourth president.  His latest book,The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated, is now available on Amazon.  To enjoy a free subscription to the Church and Culture blog, visit www.churchandculture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world.  Follow Dr. White on twitter @JamesEmeryWhite.