When I was a kid I remember my family hitting a hard time. My father was terminally ill with cancer and could not work. He had been fighting for two long years and was losing. My mother, facing the reality that she would soon no longer have a husband, was starting her own business of music lessons but things were tight. We moved in with my Grandma as we could not afford to be on our own and mom and dad needed help caring for us kids and dad. Christmas was to be a lean season for sure. As an adult with kids of my own now I think back to how my parents must have felt that Christmas season.
One night there was a ring at the doorbell. Upon answering the door we simply found a single brown paper grocery bag filled with small gifts and a card that read. Merry Christmas from Sunrise Community Church. As we opened each package, we found that each one was filled with a different denomination of money that someone had decided to bless our family with. Some were small and others quite large, but all of them combined allowed my family to celebrate Christmas that year. Even now, sitting in my office these many years later, I am overwhelmed to tears by this act of generosity and Christian love that was shown to my family in our time of distress.
God showed up that night through the hands and feet of His church. Often times we may never know the significant impact of our small gifts into others’ lives. You may never have to experience what a single christmas present or a warm meal to an individual that feels forgotten, misplaced, lost, or alone can do. I have experienced it and though I do not know all those who blessed my family, I am thankful for those in my home church of Westside that have chosen to bless others this year in a similar way.
This year our small church provided a full Thanksgiving meal to 8 misplaced or in distress families trying to get back on their feet through Everyone Matters Ministries. In addition, we also provided Christmas gifts to 22 individuals in those same families. I sent my story to them as a special thank you for their generosity and willingness to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this small way. For those of you not at Westside or that were unable to participate with us, I encourage you to look around this year for those that you might bless. To go beyond the bustle of lights and christmas carols and remember Jesus as the gift of Gold most high to those who could not afford their own redemption. And in that remembrance, bless those around you richly.