Well, it’s here. Christmas is this week! By now, most of the wrapping is finished and celebrations are planned for our families. I will now purpose to end the year by fully enjoying this special holiday with the people I love most on the earth.
As I explained in my last blog entry, I gave Jesus “more generous giving” this season. I gave in ways I don’t normally do, and I did so to a greater extent. I believe I did all He asked me to do and gave with less measuring and rationale. Others give much more than me, but Jesus and I did something new together this season. It was fun trying to better live, 1 Corinthians 9:7, “God loves a cheerful giver.”
I woke up this morning feeling a new kind of “great” entering Christmas week having first given to those without plenty and giving more to those in need at Christmas than ever before.
Then today happened.
It all started this summer when my son heard a lady on the radio tell about handing sack lunches out her car window to the homeless. “I want to do that, mom!” Since then, I have been waiting for the perfect day. My husband selected today as the perfect day. He used what we already had in the house and spent $32 additional dollars on ham for 24 sandwiches, 24 bottled waters, 24 candy canes and sweet potato pies. My son made an assembly line of paper bags on the counter and wrote on two rows of twelve, “Merry Christmas. Jesus loves you” and he lined up the food items in rows for easy assembly. My husband filled the bags with a meal, we said our prayers and went downtown to hand out dinners—-
I watched my husband and son hand food to
- People carrying everything they own.
- A person sleeping, who discovered his dinner when he later opened his eyes.
- A person looking for dinner in a trash can.
- A man picking up small pieces of cardboard to use for warmth later tonight.
- A man with a disability sitting under a mountain of blankets in a doorway.
- Another person wrapped in blankets, who upon receiving his evening meal could not guzzle his water fast enough.
And I prayed for each one. And most of them expressed thanks with, “God bless you.” Go figure.
- And I thought about my son…how his giving had bubbled up from within his heart while I had spent the month training my heart to give. Ugh.
- And I thought about the vision I now have of my son putting a meal beside a sleeping man.
- And I thought about my belongings and how I want to keep on letting go with ever-increasing cheerfulness because I have heaven. Why do I need to hold on to anything?
- And I thought about how cold it is tonight.
- And I reflected on how I didn’t ask for the life I have, I was just given the life I have (as in where I was born and the parents that raised me).
- And I reflected on how inexpensive our gesture was.
- And I decided tonight’s giving was both terrifying and exhilarating.
Today was a perfect ending to a month of a new kind of giving, and the culmination came from God expressing Himself naturally through the hearts of my son and husband–not me. I am grateful for the reality check on how much more work there is to do in my practical heart, though grateful for the growth that occurred this year in the right direction. On the way home we spotted people toting our brown sacks and we prayed again. I told my son, “We can just call tonight’s people your 24 people. God knows who they are. He can wrap each one in His arms and woo each one with His love.”
So I have a request. As part of your giving this season, would you please pray JUST ONCE for my son’s 24 people?
Merry Christmas to my sweet blog community. You may be a small group, but you are very precious to me. My gift to you this year has been my thoughts in words. I hope you have been cheered onward toward a more intimate relationship with Jesus. Thanks for staying tuned.
I will be taking next weekend off, so this is our last meeting in 2014.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU CHEERFULLY IN 2015, AND MAY WE ALL INCREASE IN OUR ABILITY TO BE CHEERFUL GIVERS.
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