Someone Cares: Good Words

A reminder to stop a bad habit for Lent ended up helping the homeless.

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The Lent swear jar with cash inside.

I buckled my three-year-old son, Chandler, into his car seat after church and got on the parkway home, my mind on Lent, which would start on Wednesday. In the past, I’d given up favorite foods, soda, coffee and candy, but I’d done that for so many years that it seemed rote. It was time for a more meaningful sacrifice.

A car coming up way too fast in my rearview mirror interrupted my thoughts. The driver changed lanes and darted in front of me without signaling.

“&#%!” I said, hitting my brakes. “Use your blinker!”

From the back seat, a tiny voice echoed, “&#%!”

I cringed. “Chandler, let’s not say that word.”

How many times had he heard me swearing? I needed to quit cussing, not only for me but for my child. What if I replaced a bad habit with a good one and prayed instead of using profanity? I thought.

Once we were home, I pulled out a mason jar and put a $1 bill into my Lent Swear Jar. Jesus said to pray for our enemies, so each time I cursed I would add a dollar as a reminder to stop, then pray for the person or situation that had upset me.

Not only did I cure my cursing that Lent but I donated $52 to a homeless shelter.

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