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Writing Last Checks: Broken and Obedient Hearts

Jessica Winter

Jessica Winter

July 12, 2019

“I feel more than a sadness. Honestly, I am even angry. But what can we even do?”

My husband and I have been having a lot of discussion lately about what generosity looks like for our marriage. And the more we have dug in, the more God seems to break our hearts. Our vision statement is still in the works, but it sounds something like being invisible champions for the unseen, the forgotten.

The tension we feel between big vision but also the great sorrow puts us in an uncomfortable position. We know the truth—our generosity is not the type that puts names on buildings or eradicates a crisis in one fell swoop. I even heard a ministry leader the other day say just to write off Millennials when it comes to giving.

So how do we do more than dole out donations and hope for the best? How do we begin to actually solve problems in the world?

This is where the idea of writing last checks has captivated our hearts. Before, in all transparency, we had a transactional view of generosity. It was morally good to give, but ultimately, only those with the big dollars were going to make the real difference.

This idea of last checks forced us to look at the causes God was asking us to join in, instead of starting with dollar amounts. It actually was exciting as we started dreaming big with how we could live generously, not just with finances, but giving of our time, emotions, and talent to make a difference in solving problems. As we dove into the causes, God began to open doors for us.

Slowly, we have found like-minded community. We have met people making big moves in these spaces we care about and learned from their wisdom. We are starting to lead groups, influence conversations, and foster discussion.

We know the last checks we have in mind are a bit audacious, so the way we get there is first rallying the warriors. God designed the Church to function as a body, so more and more, we are seeing communities grow and connect to take strides to stamp out problems.

While we might not yet be at solving the major crises, you can follow a path of determination towards that. You will see a series of “last checks” that all go towards that common goal. And honestly, I don’t even want my name to be the one on the “last check”. I hope it will say the last check to end this cause was fulfilled by “The community that had enough and took a stand”. I want to be part of such a radical band.

I think my main regret is how long we chose to avoid pain entirely because we believed we couldn’t make a difference. Why serve a God of miracles if we only want to tell Him what is possible! The mantra I keep returning to is simply this: “We will say yes and show up.”

Writing last checks starts with broken and obedient hearts.

“Fear’s goal is to keep us stuck in our tracks. Don’t let it. Courage and bravery don’t always look like someone leading the charge up a hill in a war; sometimes it looks like a couple kids demonstrating God’s love in the world. {…} There is undeniable power in kindness and love to beat fear back.” Maria Goff.

About Jessica Winter

Jessica Winter

Jessica is the former Chief Brand Officer of The Signatry.

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