One of the families I babysit for is LDS. Originally, when I began babysitting for them, I was LDS as well. Their financial situation has always been up and down and even while frustrating for my family on the receiving end for payment, I've also felt sympathy for them.
Most recently, they've hit a larger than usual bump and the LDS church has had to step in again to help them meet their bills. The LDS church has a welfare system for it's members in which it will pay certain bills for it's members should all other avenues be exhausted. Today I discovered one bill that is included as payment is also child care. Which meant, I received a check made out in my name from the LDS church. I've received them before - usually reimbursements from activities that I had purchased items for.
Since my apostasy, I've been pretty straight forward with them. Out of my LDS associates and/or "friends" - the most honest and straight forward with them than anyone else. When asked why Steve and I left, I didn't butter it up, "it's a false church" came right out. Yet, they've remained our "friends" - if that term really applies to the relationship we seem to have.
Today, when I received that check - I was speechless. I placed it on my fridge and began to ponder it. Did I really want to accept it? This check was written from the funds of honest tithe payers who were writing checks to a false god - to an idol. This was worship, sacrifice given to a god outside my own - should I really be willing to accept it when I've been so strongly convicted of idolatry in my own life with my own parents and other areas of my life? Is money so important to me that I am willing to take it no matter the source or how tainted it is?
At this point in our lives, Steve and I are in a pretty tight spot financially. Babysitting and working three nights a week isn't a hobby, it's something that we need for me to do.
Not taking the check is a risk because the family is already behind in their payments by two weeks at this point and I risk simply loosing this money. However, what is really more important to me - the eternal or the temporal? Perhaps this is a moment to impact the eternal by making a statement and simply trusting God to take of my family should we end up without being paid by this family. I can't help but be scared by all of this and how it could (temporally) impact my family.