The Spirit of Giving
The Christmas tree was decorated. The music of Christmas played softly in the background as Suzi put her last batch of cookies in the oven. The delicious smell filled the air. She had a mixed feeling about this year, 2020. It was a different year that will go down in history along with so many other sad events. Filling her cup with a hot, mint tea, she sat down for a few minutes and counted her blessings…for there were so many.
Thinking to herself, she was reminded that tomorrow, December 7th, would be Pearl Harbor Day. She could always remember that date because it was the day after her Mother’s birthday. The tragedy of Pearl Harbor, with so many lives lost in the unexpected attack during World War II, may sadly not get as much attention this year. It seems that the focus every day is to count the lives lost in the Coronavirus nationally and worldwide. Whether by sickness or in war, every life lost is a life that can’t be replaced and is a real tragedy.
Suzi wondered if there was a way to make life a little happier this year for some who are finding their financial needs cut to rock bottom. She had given to the local food bank, but each year she had taken some amount of money from her savings and tried to find someone to give a crisp $20 bill. It was something she did privately, between her and God. The small amount of money might mean the difference in a child having a Christmas present…or food on the table. Suzi was thinking that at the grocery store a ham, that she bought, cost under $15. The money might also be the gift that a young person needed to buy his/her mother or father a present. Could it be misused? Of course it could. No matter what it would be used for…it would be her gift to someone unknown at Christmas. She remembered that the Holy Scriptures tells us:
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35
Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me. Matthew 25:40
As she pondered these things, Suzi remembered in the past how she found people in a parking lot… just walking toward a store like Walmart or Dollar General. Usually, they had a downward look or unkempt appearance that impressed her. Moving the car toward them, she called out the window, “I have something God wants you to have.” The surprised look usually brought them over to see what she meant. Quickly, she handed them a Christmas card with the money inside…saying “May you be blessed and be a blessing to someone else” and drove away. Will she ever see them again?…no, not likely. Will they be drawn closer to God because of this unexpected event?…hopefully. Will they tell this “happening” to someone else? It doesn’t matter.
Suzi also remembers when she was in college on a very tight budget, she went to her mailbox. There she found an envelope with $10 and a note, with no name, which said…“Some of God’s money for one of God’s children.” She has never forgotten this kindness.
Looking at her Mother’s needlework on the wall, she was reminded of the truth of our times:
However you want to share your blessings in life with someone else will differ from person to person. Nevertheless, like Suzi, give this idea of random giving some thought. If you choose to do so, do it with care. Pray before you go out into your community. Ask for God’s leadership. He knows who and where you will find that special person that He wants to bless. Wear your mask, keep a good distance while handing your gift, keep hand sanitizer readily available…and go for it! God will show you who He wants you to share in the SPIRIT OF GIVING. In doing so, you will be His hands and His voice.
Stories of giving that you may want to read again or give as a gift to a young person that is filled with the meaning of love and the needs of others are two classics: The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Anderson or The Gift of the Magi by O Henry, which is a short story of sacrificial love.
Video The Gift of the Magi Turn up sound