Some little girl’s are enamored with their mother’s dresser, but it was my father’s dresser that held all the wonder and mystery that could hold a young girl’s attention and curiosity. It was always a mess with little pieces of paper and sermon notes; receipts from milk and Hostess cupcakes he purchased; pens and tacky cuff links; little screwdrivers and – AND – his Alabaster box.
My father’s Alabaster box was sacred. It bulged with coins. Sometimes, my father would let me take a coin from the box and buy a soda or go to the local swimming pool. It didn’t matter. The box was always busting at its cardboard seems on Alabaster Sunday. We’d sing Marching to Zion and carry our box to the front of the church. We loved to pour it in the offering plate as our falling coins gave rise to our hope that people half a world away would have brick and mortar for churches, too. My father taught me that the money we gave to Alabaster went to build churches in the countries we read about in the little mission books.
I look forward to Alabaster Sunday every year. All year long we put our change in the boxes. We have three and none of them are ever as full as my dad’s Alabaster box. So full, I’d try to squeeze another penny in, ‘til half of it was sticking out of the slot. Last October, we carried our Alabaster offering to church. Sully smiled as he poured it in.