To my kids,
“If we pull our minds and our spirits away from our problems from time to time and redirect them to our blessings, we will find much to celebrate. We’ll recognize that the world is full of beauty, that most people are worthy of our respect and trust, and that the affairs of suffering humans are replete with acts of love, kindness, nobility, and sacrifice. And we’ll remember that overseeing it all is a God who knows us well, who loves us anyway, and who is very, very good.” Richard Swenson
By some miracle, I finished all my Christmas shopping early this year. And not only is the shopping done, the presents are wrapped, and toys put together (I only cursed a few times). And on the Friday before Christmas, I found myself with a completely open day. Nothing on my schedule. Not one thing.
And then your dad came home from work and started pulling stuff out of his closet. Said he got an email from a friend at work about a family that was “discovered” who was in great, great need. They haven’t had a Christmas for years. The children were being clothed in things 3 sizes too big so they would last for years. No warm clothes. Broken beds. Or no beds at all. A box of old shoes to squeeze many different feet into. Times were tough. The parents were humble. And kind. And would give the shirt off their back to a stranger. They didn’t ask for help. “Many are worse than we are” they assumed.
So the call to action came. I sent out an e-mail to 250 of my closest friends 🙂 and put one post on Facebook. We didn’t have much time.
And suddenly my Friday became busy. With e-mails, phone calls, and deliveries.
Within 24 hours we had raised nearly $4000 in cash and gift cards. We had dozens of bags of gently used clothing, toys, mattress’s, computers, an entire bedroom set, bunk beds stacked in our front room.
And things keep coming.
All from people WE know. People WE love. People we get to call friends.
No judgement. Just love.
Dad and I always knew we had amazing friends and family. But this surpassed any expectations we had. We were humbled. Honored. And felt love unlike anything I can describe. Love for us. Love for that family. Love for mankind.
“But is it possible that the most important thing God has for me on any given days is not even on my agenda?
Am I interruptible? Do I have time for nonprogrammed things in my life? My response to those interruptions is the real test of my love.
We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.
God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions….
It is part of the discipline of humility that we must not spare our hand where it can perform a service and that we do not assume that our schedule is our own to manage, but allow it to be arranged by God.” Richard Swenson
God expects us to take care of each other. That’s how he takes care of us. By using other people. We all belong to each other.
“What are we here for, if not to lessen each other’s loads?”
To all of those who donated money, physical items, words of encouragement, time, and love, I thank you with every ounce of sincerity and love I can find. This has been an amazing experience for our family. Mike and I are grateful for you in our lives. And grateful our children have seen such an overwhelming response. All we had to do was ask. And you came.
Thank you. We love you.
(Pictures of things that trickled in after we had delivered the things that filled up our front room the first time and the envelope we had was bursting with cash and cards. I didn’t think to take a picture the first time around.)
He knew just what to do with that $50. It wasn’t pretty getting it back from him.