In the second volume of the Trigun manga, we are introduced to the traveling preacher, Nicolas D. Wolfwood. Apart from Vash himself, Wolfwood is one of the most interesting characters, in my opinion, in the Trigun universe. But, I’m here to discuss our first meeting with Wolfwood in the manga – not go in depth into a character assessment.
When we first meet Wolfwood he’s broke and looking for a way to get to the next town. He ends up getting a discount on travel fare. He is then approached by two beggar children. Vash sees this and saw that Wolfwood had spent some of his last bit of money to buy the ticket. Vash tells the kids, “You shouldn’t do that. That man has no money.” Wolfwood then pulls out his coin purse and shakes it into his hand. Out comes three small coins. He then looks at the two beggar children and hands out the coins saying, “This one is yours, and this one is yours, then this one is all I have left, is mine. It’s not much, but will it do?” The children smile and gladly take the small coins.
It’s not much what Wolfwood had to offer, but it was literally some of his last coins – he was giving up his all for others. It reminds me of the story of the poor widow from Luke 21:1-4. Luke wrote:
He looked up and saw the rich dropping their offerings into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow dropping in two tiny coins. “I tell you the truth,” He said. “This poor widow has put in more than all of them. For all these people have put in gifts out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.”
He too gave up two small coins. He too gave up out of his poverty. He too gave up what little he had left to live on. He gave to the point where, frankly, it had to hurt. His giving was a stretch and, it hurt. The Old Testament spoke of the 10% tithe which many modern Christians continue to give to the church. I do as well. 10% of your income given to the church can hurt. It’s money which could be spent elsewhere – paying off debt, buying better groceries, ensuring you have a nest egg/rainy day fund. It’s true, but – when we need to remember something important – all blessings come from God (James 1:17).
All our money, all our wealth, all our clothes, all our food – comes from God. He has blessed us. And he can just as easily take it all away. We sometimes need to be reminded as Job was that all this around us is temporary (Job 1:21). Being reminded of that we should praise the one who is not temporary, our Lord. We also should be free to be generous, like Wolfwood.
More often, we find ourselves acting like the Rich Young Ruler of Matthew 19:16-22. We are stingy with our money and give a piddling to the church, a bit to charity, a bit to missions. Does the giving hurt like it did for the poor widow or Wolfwood? Or is it from our excess like the wealthy people Jesus saw at the temple? Too often it’s from our excess and it’s wonderful, and convicting, when we see examples of those who truly give their all, who truly give until it hurts.