"I Have Two Dollies"

When I was a boy in Sabbath School, I remember the leaders teaching all of us little tykes a ditty that has hung around in the back room of my mind ever since—did you learn it, too?

I have two dollies and I am glad;
you have no dolly and that’s too bad.
I’ll share my dolly, for I love you;
And now you have a nice dolly, too.

Ostensibly this little chorus was to impress upon our young minds the credo that sharing is the right way, the happy way, the Jesus’ way. (I don’t recall a verse for us boys about sharing—perhaps at that age we all played with dolls!)

But now that we’ve all grown up, of course, there are no more ditties to sing and dollies to share. And as the chorus bemoans, “and that’s too bad.” Because life really is about sharing, isn’t it?

After all, John the Baptist thundered to the crowds in the wilderness: “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same” (Luke 3:11). “I have two dollies.”

Why even Jesus in His epic Sermon on the Mount declared: “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well—give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you” (Matthew 5:40-41). “I have two dollies, and you have none.” 

Paul joins the chorus: “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. . . . For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings” (Romans 12:13; 15:27).

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:16). “I’ll share my dolly, for I love you; and now you have a nice dolly, too.”

Think of how blessed this world would be if this notion of sharing were the operative way of living. Rich nations sharing with poor nations. Regions with surplus sharing with communities in need. People with extra sharing with people without. “I have two dollies, and you have none.”

And how about congregations? And churches? Does this obviously strong biblical credo apply to them? To us?

Here on the campus of Andrews University the Pioneer Memorial Church has been blessed with an abundance of space for children in Sabbath School, youth in study, for people—for many, many people and families—in worship. “I have two dollies, and I am glad.” And we should be—God long before any of us came on the scene made certain our forefathers and foremothers wisely built a very big “House of Prayer for All People” (as the chiseled words above our front doors declare).

But what space shall we share?

In multiple circles over the past few days people have been contemplating that question. Is there space in the Pioneer Memorial Church that could be shared with others who need such space? Space for what? Space for worship. The conversations continue. Because the chorus is still true—“I have two dollies, and I am glad; you have no dolly and that’s too bad—I’ll share my dolly, for I love you; and now you have a nice dolly, too.” Sharing dollies, sharing space—it can’t be that much different, can it?

Especially since God invites us, “to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share” (1 Timothy 6:18).