Tonight I am so excited, I feel like it actually is Christmas Eve. Tomorrow, I will be running up to a complete stranger's house, ringing (or not ringing) their doorbell, then throwing a surprise at the front door. Praying, as I run away to my car, that I don't fall, or that my butt crack isn't showing because my flipping pants won't stay up, or have my purse fly open, spilling all over the sidewalk, but mostly that no one will see me, doing whatever drama I'm sure that will be unfolding. Now, I am not speaking this into existence. I just know how I act when I am in a hurry and trying to be sneaky. For some reason, the director of life, has decided that mine is a comedy. Funny things just seem to find me! Or maybe, I am just very easily amused... Hmmm....
Now I fully, fully feel that if you are going to help others, or do good deeds, that you should not go and make a production of it. That, in fact, just the opposite should be true. If you are going to give, you should do it anonymously. Actually, if you are a cheerful giver, blessing are going to hunt you down and tackle you. That bragging and telling what you did, actually is destroys the seeds sewn. Now, before you all start throwing your gavels and putting on your robes, I firmly believe you should not do anything just to get something in return. Deep down, I know this, but it is still sooo hard to not brag a little about the cool thing we did for this person. Oh ya, I am so great, blah blah blah. Knowing the law of sewing and reaping, of cause and affect really, and knowing the the reasons you do it, are two totally different things. In fact, if you are giving to get, you are just planting those seeds. Sort of missing the whole point, in the first place. For example, my friend who organized to have a gift dropped off to a father and son, (who lost their wife/mom, and three sisters, in a horrible train accident last year. With the little boy being the only survivor.) wasn't thinking how awesome she would be if she did this could all come together. Her heart breaks for this family. She deeply wanted to help and send them some Christmas cheer, in what probably would be a very lonely time, otherwise. Can you imagine this two year old little boy opening the door everyday finding a new treat? What the father will have to be thinking? Do you think he may see God in any of that? I think so.
See, joy and giving are contagious. You sew joy and generosity, you will get the same in return. Leading to inspiring others to do the same. Watching a wave of action go out, from your one, tiny stone's throw, is one of the most amazing feeling in the world. I have been on the "in need of blessing" side, many many times. I have also been in the position to give and give. We try, as a family, to teach our kids to help people who have less than you. Even if at that time, we only had forty dollars in our bank account.Looking back, the times when we were at our lowest, in the world's standards and opinions, giving and reaching out then, has affected us more than any other. I know deep in my heart, the more it "hurts" per say, the more God can bless us and make a miracle out of it return. One time I remember not knowing where I was gonna but the next roll of toilet paper that we would be out of the next day, then the next thing you knew, my mother in law was at our front door with a bag of groceries and the prettiest 12 pack of toilet paper you have ever seen! To me, that day, I saw a miracle, a need met by God, yes, in toilet paper. That is the magic of seeing miracles, your faith comes alive. There is always someone that is in need, more than we. \
You hear this phrase a lot during this time of year, "Especially at Christmas..." It leads me to wonder why? Why do we seem to give the most at Christmas time?
Now again, I am not perfect in my understanding of God, or the Bible. I am still learning, and I don't think I ever will be perfect. Thank God. The only thing I can say is that I try my best by reading and meditating on the word. I encourage you to find out what you think, and share with me back. Remember my friend I mentioned earlier? The question I left you with was, do you think he will see God in these gifts, left at the door? Why did she pick this month, of all months of the year to do this? It could have been July. I am sure the fourth was a bummer, too. In fact, my friend, I am not even sure if she believes in God, or Jesus. So why Christmas. Why does this phenomenon happen all over the world? Maybe it is because, so so long ago, humanity as messed up as we ever were, as messed up as we are, and as messed up as we ever will be, we were given the biggest gift ever?! That the gift, of forgiveness, of salvation, of eternity forever with no pain, to be happy, forever, together was given to us, in the tiny form of a baby? A fragile, beautiful, little baby? That even though, the baby itself, knew that it would ultimately be tortured, killed, and bled dry, for the very people, who would for all the times to come, question his even existence. He could have said no, he could have stopped it, at anytime, yet accepted his fate and reduced himself, from a God, all powerful, all knowing, into a defenseless baby. That the Father of this baby, yet one in the same, also knew the sacrifice he would have to make. Giving up his ONLY son, to me tortured, to be crucified, to create such a tender baby, that would only grow up to be the most giving, loving,honorable man the human race has ever known, would only end in a bloody rage. To have to turn your back, knowing full time you could wipe it all away, like a fresh breeze if He wanted to.
The reason? They knew it wouldn't end there. That was not the ending of the story, but the turning point in the story. When the hero rises from the ashes, rises from the dead, smashing, conquering the enemy. Yet this wasn't a movie. There is more physical proof Jesus lived and rose from the dead, then the evidence that Caesar lived. Yet we all know he was real.
Why at Christmas? Because the echo of that ultimate act, the ultimate giver, the ultimate gift, lasts. Joy is contagious. Unknowingly and unintentionally, we spread God around. BY loving. If you can wrap your head around the fact that God is love, it will make sense. If you can't wrap your purdy little head around it, suspend your disbelief. My friend, whether she knew it or not, is creating a web of love. Each person that is helping this family, is going to feel awesome after dropping off their bundle. Which may inspire another act of kindness in another, and so on and so on.
At church today they talked about what it would be like without Christmas. They interviewed some people in the streets. Their answers were really funny. But mainly they were, well there would be no Christmas then, would there? Even if they didn't believe in Jesus, None of them wanted a world without it. Isn't that kind of funny?
Seriously what would the world be like without Jesus and Christmas. Well, I can tell you that the family above wouldn't be getting 31 days of holiday cheer. (The word holiday even descends from the term "Holy Days".) Strangers wouldn't smile at each other during the busiest, most annoying, time of the year to be in a store. Think of all the things we do as a society for the less fortunate. Collecting coats for the cold. Making gift boxes for kids in far off countries. Thanking soldiers with cards. My little boy's school is even gathering food and change for animals in need. Cooking and delivering meals for the homeless or elderly. So much.
Well, maybe because I have been absent for what seems like an eternity, with my first trimester blues, or from how excited I am for tomorrow's giving attack, but I sure have had a lot to say tonight! Let's here from you? How has helping another, changed or affected you in a positive way? Has anyone really blown you away with something they did for your family? Here is your chance to thank them or brag on them. (WHICH I never said wasn't OK to do. Brag on others as much as you can!) What do you think of my ideas? I would love to hear from you!
God Bless and Merry Christmas to All!!
PS. Bonus points to anyone who can finish this quote of the day..."The best way to spread holiday cheer..."