Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous

I was browsing in the index section of the hymnal I grew up with and noticed forty-seven of the hymns were written by what appears to be a very prolific writer because I have seen his – or was he a she – name on lots of things – Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous.  Anonymity has always puzzled me because Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount,  “When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.”

I understand what Jesus was driving at.  I get it.  However, when one is responsible for a ministry such as Spring of Life, why would people donate if they didn’t know you were doing something useful?  We want our gifts to mean something.  Personally, I am deeply moved by St. Jude Children’s Hospital that treats children with cancer and they never bill the parents for anything.  We need to know that about St. Jude if we would be moved to help.

The balance between sharing information and bragging is a very delicate thing.  How does one follow Jesus’ instructions and yet inform people that giving to something matters and makes a difference?  The Sermon on the Mount is one of the most complicated moral statements ever spoken.  How do we turn the other cheek and yet not be an enabler of someone’s pathological selfishness?  There are users all around us.   Are we to be doormats?   We have to balance that with Jesus’ counsel to shake the dust from our feet and move on.  If you are like me you need to daily ask for wisdom.  Fortunately we are promised we will receive wisdom if we ask.  See James 1:5.

Written by Roger Bothwell on September 20, 2016

PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574