Reaching deep into the trunk, I pulled out a bag crammed with goodies.
Daniel and I darted through the cold into the glowing fellowship hall at church.
Once inside, the warmth washed over me, and I blinked in the beauty.
Christmas lights glittered in soft tulle on the piano, and candles glimmered in all directions.
As I set my bag down Weston pulled on my sleeve. “Mom, its Christmastime for REAL!”
His eyes glittered with delight.
We looked around, and one would never have guessed we hadn’t even eaten Thanksgiving turkey yet.
But here, tonight, it was Christmas.
We were celebrating the joy of Christmas by packing shoeboxes to send to children far away.
For those little ones who know no luxury, have no birthday parties, earn no allowance.
Whose feet pound hard dusty trails, whose homes may have no light at night,
for hands are calloused by hard work, simply to survive.
Bustling excitement filled the room. Wrapping paper crinkled, and the endless sound of tape getting torn off…
We carefully filled a box for a boy Weston’s age, and Daniel “helped” him write a letter.
Tirzah took full liberties of the long table loaded with snacks and sweets.
I don’t know how many times I looked up from wrapping my box to seeing her sticky face smiling back at me,
another jammed mouthful of yummy food.
After letters were carefully penned, and boxed packed with longing to watch it be opened by those little fingers
on the other side if the world, we taped labels on the lids marked “Boy” or “Girl.”
The table of finished boxes grew heavier, and then we gathered around to pray.
Pray for the sweet children that would open them. For the people making the long journey to get these packages there.
I looked around at this dear body of Christ, and knew. Surely it IS more blessed to give than to receive.
It’s been hard year. I know a bunch of the hearts there had been tested to the limits at times.
These faces have been stained with tears. Church has felt less than what it should be.
Hurting people don’t always love those around them. I know I haven’t.
But here we are now, together, all excited about blessing. Giving. Touching others.
And it is what we were meant to do. Give.
Suddenly I wonder how the wise men must have felt.
Weary and dirty from their long journey, but with a burning longing in their hearts.
To give, to bless, to thank the King of kings.
My box was small. My life feels insignificant at times. Like I touch so few.
But those words are whispered into my heart,
“As you do it to these precious little ones, you are doing it to ME.
Always remember, My kingdom is full of these little ones.”
And as I look at my gift, I know I am the one receiving. I am the blessed one.
(all the lovely photos were taken by my amazing photographer sister, Gretta)
You can see more of her stuff here: