Aug 29, 2010

On a Green Note

I have this love-hate relationship with Thomas Jefferson. As you may know Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence. He was a brilliant mind and one of the most important Founding Fathers for our democracy. The Louisiana Purchase and the Louis and Clark Expeditions were major achievements of his presidency. Jefferson was a great philosopher and studied religion and theology but he was also a Deist and Unitarian and did not hold an orthodox view of Christianity. But this is not why I both love and hate him. It has to do with money.


You see Thomas Jefferson adorns the $2 bill. And I love the $2 bill. But whenever I am given change, I never get a $2 bill. Whenever I go to the bank I am never given a $2 bill. So when I was recently given a $2 bill instead of placing it in my wallet and using it during my next purchase, I squirreled the $2 bill in an envelope in my desk. Basically, because it is so rare, I have taken the bill out of circulation. What sense does that make? That is why I both love and hate Jefferson. I love getting one of his bills, but I hate knowing that because it is so rare, I will likely not spend it.


I am not the only one that thinks the $2 bill is rare. There are plenty of stories about people who had trouble paying for stuff with a $2 bill. In one instance a cashier at a Taco Bell refused the $2 bill because he had never heard of one. Steve Jobs was once given a hard time trying to use them at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas.


But the best story comes from Best Buy. In February, 2005, Mike Bolesta purchased a new radio-CD player for his son. The installation charge came to $114. But when Mike handed over 57 $2 bills the cashier believed them to be fake and called the police. The police arrived and placed Mike in handcuffs and leg irons. After spending the day in jail, the police came to the conclusion that the money was real and released Mike with an apology.


How many times has our faith been like a $2 bill? … something that people see so rarely that they don’t believe it is real? Or worse, how many times have we treated our faith as something that should be squirreled away in our lives instead of giving it away? But just as currency is no good if we don’t use it, neither is faith.


Of course I still don’t plan on using my $2 bill.




Pastor David Hook



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