Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7
It was a day of presents today at the shelter. People’s goodness and generosity never cease to amaze me. Everyone talks about hard times and how they are struggling just to make ends meet…even still, when Christmas rolls around people’s hearts begin to melt as fast as the temperature drops. Lights go up, carols are sung, gifts get wrapped and spirits are lifted. Christmas truly is magical.
In my ten years of working at this shelter for women and children, I am never so touched as I am this time of year. I see miracles everyday. Seriously!! When a mom or single gal is ready to move out she might mention that she needs a couch or maybe a stove. It never fails that in the same day we will receive a phone call from someone saying they have a used couch or stove and just wanted to know if we knew someone who could use it. It blows my mind.
We help women and children who have been through all kinds of unimaginable life events. Day after day of hearing these tragic stories and seeing these innocent children suffer because of their parents drug use or domestic violence or just plain old poverty, takes a toll on your heart. Sooner or later you start to feel like there is no good left in the world and that all people are mean and out for themselves.
Then comes Christmas. The celebration of God’s greatest gift to mankind. Suddenly, people start to do good. They give of their time and their money to help those less fortunate. People are smiling and laughing and talking to total strangers as if they were long lost friends. I wonder what makes people so happy? I mean, any other time we would all be complaining about spending money we don’t have or giving up time we can’t spare…not at Christmas.
You see it too, right? I’m not just imagining this feel good time of year. However, I don’t think it’s the gifts or the glittery wrapping paper. It’s not the mistletoe or the stockings. I’m not betting on Frosty or Santa either. I know, without a doubt what it is for me…
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.'”
Luke 2: 8-14