A Story of Giving
How we can be blessed by blessing others.
Since we moved into our new town over 2 years ago, we’ve gotten more and more familiar with our surroundings. We have favorite places to go, and not so favorite places. We have explored nearly every park in our vicinity and have taken walks through our neighborhood. We have seen buildings go up, and businesses go down. But one constant that is most present during our rounds out of doors is a man named John.
My husband first noticed him. He was wandering the streets of our town, carrying a duffle bag that looked heavy in his grip. He wore the same clothes every time he saw him. One day, while we were driving around town, my husband decided to buy him some lunch. He asked him his name and thereafter, whenever we would spot him on the street, at a bus stop, or walking through the Boulevard, we would say, There’s John!
My boys began taking turns to pray for him whenever we’d drive past him in the neighborhood. Who’s turn is it to pray for John, we’d ask and then a prayer would go up to heaven. My husband learned more about him when he’d spot him and pull over to chat with him. He gave him the plan of salvation, brought him food, and on one occasion, my husband learned that he was attending a church.
A few days ago while on the road with our children, my husband talked about the significance of Christmas. Christmas is a time to give, as God gave His only begotten son. My husband asked the boys, Knowing that, then, what are we giving? Even though you don’t have a job, boys, what are you giving?
That was the challenge my husband gave the boys that day, and they thought of it long enough to come up with ideas about some things they could give. They remembered John. They wanted to bless him in some sort of way that Christmas.
The boys got to work on a card for John that Christmas Eve. They drew rainbows, trees, a sun. Merry Christmas, we are praying for you, is what they wrote on the card. Before day-break, my husband drove them around town to look for John while got dinner ready, and their hopes for finding him were realized soon enough!
All these months of praying for John were finally becoming more palpable. John met the children, they gave him their cards, and when he was asked, What are you going to do for Christmas, he said, I’m going to spend it with my mom.
It warms my heart to see my children possess the desire to bless those whose lives we don’t share, whose lives we don’t understand fully, but who nevertheless are loved by God. I’m glad that as they grow in the Lord, my children are learning not to show favoritism to anyone because favoritism:
- Is inconsistent with Christ’s teachings.
- Results from evil thoughts.
- Insults people made in God’s image.
- Is a by-product of selfish motives.
- Goes against the biblical definition of love.
- Shows lack of mercy to those less fortunate.
- Is hypocritical.
- Is sin.
When my husband drove away from John yesterday with the boys, they noticed him lift the cards up to the air in victory. Perhaps at that moment, John needed an encouraging word, a stroke of love and mercy, for such a time as this where Christmas can be all too consumed with greed and dissatisfaction.