In life, an ‘account at the bank’ can be a relative thing
God does not make grandmothers like He once did. At least not like MY grandmother. Grandmother never trusted such things as banks with her money. Someone once told my grandmother, “If you would put your money in the bank, they would pay you interest.”
With a confused look on her face she responded, “I have enough interest in my money, nobody else needs to bother about it.” That was that!
After my grandfather died, my wife and I had the opportunity to take grandma out for supper. It was a delightful restaurant and we thought it would be a real treat for her. More than once, I had to keep her from getting up and serving coffee to the rest of the people in the restaurant. After all, she did that at the church suppers. Why not here. “I’ve got two good legs,” she protested.
Then came time to pay the check and the waiter brought the check and laid it in front of me. I immediately took a credit card out of my wallet and laid it on the check.
I could tell grandma had never seen a credit card before.
“Put that away,” she said. “I believe that man wants you to pay for our supper. Don’t you have any money?”
“I’m paying for our supper with my credit card,” I explained.
“Oh, dear,” she moaned. “You know I don’t believe in cards. Cards are of the devil, and I have never had a deck of cards in my house. I’m a little surprised that you, a minister, would be fooling around with such things of the devil.”
She insisted we tip the waiter in “good ole American cash.” I am not sure if grandma ever really understood the credit card. She bought nothing on credit and did not accept credit. Everything had to be done in cash. She often quoted the scripture verse that says, “Owe no man any thing . . .” (Romans 13:8 KJV), which she took quite literally.
As grandma got older, she began to rethink the business of opening a bank account. Without telling anyone, she decided to go to the bank and open an account. She had saved up $50 for this purpose. Grandma nervously entered the bank and walked up to the man sitting at the desk marked “New Accounts.”
“Good morning, Ma’am. I’m Gary Goodman. How can I help you today?”
The man seemed pleasant enough, and grandma thought entrusting him with the delicate job at hand was probably safe.
“I wanna open an account,” she mumbled.
“Fine. I’ll get you all set up. It won’t take but a few minutes.” With that, he took out some papers and laid them on his desk in front of grandma.
“Now,” he said, “let’s begin. What is your name?”
She told him.
“O.K. What is your address?”
“What is your address?”
“Why do you need to know that?”
“I’m just filling out the form, Ma’am.”
The young man a little confused with her hesitancy said, “We can come back to that. What is your date of birth?”
Grandma’s face turned a little red. “What do you want to know that for,” she gasped?
“I’m just filling out the forms. Can you give me your telephone number?”
That did it for grandma. She got up from her seat and looked him right in the face and said, “Young man, I don’t know who you think you are, but I am not interested in your advances. I’m old enough to be your mother. You ought to be ashamed.”
Just then the manager of the bank walked by.
“Mary, what are you doing here?”
The manager quickly assessed the situation and told the young man he would take care of this customer and tried to console my grandmother.
“I don’t know what’s gotten into young folk these days,” she whispered.
Barely concealing his manager his smile he said, “I’ll take care of you, Mary,” he assured her. He knew all the information about her and quickly filled in the paper work and walked grandma to the teller for her first deposit.
Grandma handed the teller a crumpled $50 bill. The teller took it and gave her a deposit receipt.
“Where’s my money?” grandma demanded.
“It’s safe in the bank, Ma’am.”
“How do you know my money from everyone else’s?”
“The money is all deposited in the bank, and if you need any, all you do is write a check.”
She showed grandma how to write out a check. By now grandma was confused and more than a little exasperated. Quickly grandma wrote out a check for $50 and handed it back to the teller.
“You’re withdrawing all your money?”
The teller counted out $50 and handed it to her. Grandma looked at the teller and said, “No. I want MY money.” The teller retrieved the crumpled $50 bill and handed it to grandma.
As she walked out, the teller heard her mumble, “What a crazy way to run business. No wonder banks fail.”
There is only one sure account I can bank on. Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:” (Matthew 6:19-20 KJV).
The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The church website is www.whatafellowship.com.