Coffee Shop Lesson: How to give

By Gerre Joiner | Published Wednesday, October 3, 2012

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Sometimes, coffee shop talk gets serious.

Gerre Joiner

The conversation was prompted by a two-man discussion regarding the number of individuals who receive government assistance in one way or another… and the number of folks who, unfortunately, abuse the assistance in one way or another. We both agreed that individuals and churches ought to be running point on meeting the needs of folks around us.

My friend related a story about how his father would occasionally buy a side of beef, coconuts, oranges and apples and pack up several boxes for needy neighbors. The father took great pleasure in purchasing the items, packing the boxes for the neighbors and labeling them for their intended destination.

Then he called his teenage son. Bobby, my coffee shop friend, was given specific instructions regarding how to deliver the boxes of food and when to deliver them. He still remembers the wonderful feeling of having been a part of serving his neighbors in a small way.

He got a little emotional when he said, “I didn’t think much about it at the time, but I think about it a lot lately. Daddy was teaching me to give.” I’ve only known Bobby for 13 or 14 years, but I know him to be a man who sees a need and tries to make things better.

Now an observation about Bobby: He’s a little slow! He’s just now figuring out what his daddy was trying to teach him 60 years ago!

Gerre Joiner is a semi-retired church musician and has lived in Decatur since 1999.

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