A Pocket Full of Pay

I reached into the closet and pulled out a pair of slacks to wear to work. I slipped each leg in, zipped and buttoned up, and then, instinctively, stuck my hands in the pockets. I was surprised when I felt something in the front right pocket. I knew instantly it was cash. And I could tell it was more than one bill.

Was it $20?



I pulled three folded bills out of my pocket. I filed through each one.

All three of them singles.

Three bucks.

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I have to admit, there was a moment of disappointment. I mean, even though I was excited that I found money in my pocket, wouldn’t it have been nice if it was more?

Then I’m reminded that over 1 billion people on this planet will work all day today and not get paid what I just found in my pocket.

Even the father of the girl I sponsor won’t make $3 today, after putting in eight hours of hard, sweaty construction work. That is, if he can find work in Manila today.

men and women doing construction

I can’t imagine misplacing a full day’s pay and not tearing up the house to find it. I can’t imagine digging into my pocket and finding an entire day’s wages. But that’s exactly what I did, in the eyes of a billion people.

Three bucks. It’s amazing how important that becomes, with a little perspective.

11 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Avatar
    David Edmisten March 23, 2011

    Your post is a great reminder, and it is so encouraging to see the response moving people to consider giving extra. Our family has recently been without paid work, so even we have felt what $3 can mean. Through this period, we have gained such an appreciation for each thing we receive, and a new understanding of God’s loving provision in times of need.

    I hope more people will be inspired to share their excess, both abroad and the needy nearest to them.

  2. Avatar
    Jennifer Fisher March 20, 2011

    These reminders are what touch me the most. I am considered “low income” by american standards but in reality am VERY wealthy in countless ways. Remembering that the “small” things we CAN do mean so much is very comforting to me

  3. Avatar
    Valerie March 19, 2011

    Thanks for the posting. You inspired me to reach out to my sponsor child’s family and give them a gift 🙂

  4. Avatar
    Stephanie Green March 18, 2011

    This is something I work to teach my own three children that even small amounts can equal big blessings to someone in need. Those small amounts may not be a sacrifice to most of us but it’s what we choose to do with it that’s so important.

    Thanks for the perspective!

  5. Avatar
    Sara F. March 18, 2011

    Very nice reminder. I almost think that if it motived everyone to do something, we could call it “A pocketful of Change” (change having a double meaning, of course.) As we look at $3, it doesn’t seem like much here, but it reminds me of what a what I read in Deuteronomy 8:12-13 the other day “For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! ‘Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God . . . .'” it so easy to think of how little we have in comparison to others in our own countries that we can easily forget how blessed we are, especially compared to so many in other countries. God has blessed us so that we might bless others.

  6. Avatar
    Kendra March 18, 2011

    Thanks for the shift in perspective! When I read this I immediately thought of a verse that God keeps showing me lately. I John 3:17 “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (NKJV)

  7. Avatar
    megank March 18, 2011

    A cup of coffee for me is a paycheck for someone else. Great post.

  8. Avatar
    Shaun March 18, 2011

    What a great reminder of how incredibly blessed we are. Thanks for sharing!

    “To whom much is given, much is required.”

  9. Avatar
    Uchenna March 18, 2011

    Its so true, i’m Nigerian but i live in the US. I clearly recall that during a recent building project in Nigeria the labourers (unskilled construction workers) who did the bulk of the work earned exactly $3 for an entire day’s work. I’m talking 8hours!

  10. Avatar
    Marvin March 18, 2011

    Yes many people in the world live day to day…making just enough to feed themselves…I visited one of my sponsored child…her dad on a good day makes $3 dollars. But the cost of living is different in different places…so 3 USA dollars buys more than it would in America or Europe. I live in Taiwan and for $500 usa dollars you can rent a really great apartment that would cost $1,200 in my home town of Chicago usa. That’s the great thing about sending a family gift, $50 will but so many things in the Philippines I am amazed.

  11. Avatar
    Gail March 18, 2011

    3 bucks! I’m sure most women could find that in loose change in their handbags (purses for you Amercians)!

    So when we find the $3 and a new perspective on what $3 is worth, what are we going to do with it? Collect all our $3 for a year and send a family gift to our child? Something to think about for sure.

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