Tonight was one of those nights. My husband had sent me a text earlier today asking how my day was going. I had a full day. As I transition from teaching Algebra II, fractions, and counting coins to all things preschool (naps included), my brain received an overload without a chance to download. And for me, full brain = ache. I’ve learned how to function through head aches, yet the fog causes extra concentration to live in the moment.
I arrived home, quickly gathered the troops, and we headed over to the Homeless Families Foundation here in Columbus. Rock City Church was sponsoring an event, and we simply didn’t want to miss it. 60 pairs of gift wrapped boots awaited their recipients. Decorated cookies and hot chocolate with all the fixins were waiting to be consumed. Craft tables were prepped. The OSU dance team was awaiting their chance to start us off with Christmas spirit and high-fives of encouragement.
Little did I know just what God had in store for me during this “full” state…
- I saw my husband. He was beaming amongst the crowd of volunteers, children, and staff.
- I saw my girls jump right into the craft, and in caring for their special friends, the pastor’s girls.
- I saw my son, standing in the shadow of his father and best friend, taking in the conversations that ensued.
- I saw a friend from my life group.
- I was greeted with tender hugs from my friends in ministry.
And I simply did what came naturally, I got down to the child’s level and I started asking questions as they created and ate.
“Tell me one good thing about school today.” “What makes you excited about Christmas?” “I like the pattern you chose for your necklace, will you keep it, or give it to someone special?”
And they answered. Willingly and gladly. I learned about their likes and dislikes. I learned about their needs and wants. I learned a bit about their personalities. They shared with me a piece of their hearts. And this time, it filled my soul.
And I quietly prayed for these special children of God. I prayed for their futures.
And then I checked on my girls, and while standing in line for a simple snack, this precious face turns to me. And in my distraction of staring at a discolored gray front tooth, my ears hear this sweet whisper say, “Christmas is all about God.”
And it arrested me.
And I paused.
And I smiled, and stammered a response, “yes… it is”. And as she turned, she looked back one more time to say, “And Jesus too”.
And Jesus too.
And then, each child was called by name. And as they were called, a young male voice rang out, “Zoe, oh yeah!” “Seth, you rock!” “Ralph, you go boy!” And a modern day Barnabas appeared in the form of a little boy, so thrilled for his friends to receive a gift. Thinking not of himself. And all the adults chuckled. And I stood in amazement.
And they opened their gift. It was small, and yet it met a need. And they received it gladly. And wore them proudly.
And I realized I had not once thought of my former head ache. In a simple act of giving, I was the one who became a receiver. In God’s economy, the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, and the merciful. This event was a real life example of God’s ability to multiply a simple act of kindness, to reach in and touch the soul of one simple girl who needed a little Christmas reminder.
It’s all about God. And Jesus.
How will YOU give today? Perhaps the Lord has a special plan for you to receive as well. Merry Christmas!