Merry Christmas

Posted by on Dec 24, 2012 in Faith | 0 comments

Merry Christmas

Several weekends ago, our little family was driving down a rough mountain dirt road, dust flying everywhere, when we passed a woman carrying a toddler on her back. As you might imagine, it’s not the kind of road that sees a lot of pedestrian traffic, especially a lone woman wearing a small child. This road is isolated from anything resembling civilization and extremely rugged. It was an odd sight, so Husband rolled down his window to ask the woman if she was okay. As she turned her head to answer, “Yes,” we were stunned to see how young she appeared. She assured us she was fine, so Husband rolled up his window and started to drive away, but we were both concerned and I just couldn’t bear to leave her there all alone. I jumped out of the car and called out as I walked towards her, “I don’t want to bother you but I just want to make sure you’re okay – what are you doing out here?” She told a story that seemed innocent enough, but something still seemed off and I didn’t want to leave her, so she accepted a ride to where she was going, admitting it would be helpful. She squeezed in the front seat of our car with her daughter on her lap and I squished myself into the very back of our SUV. We chatted as we drove, got to know her a little, and I, still feeling concerned about her, prayed silently on the way. We drove for miles to get to her destination. On a rough, one lane, downhill, isolated, mountain road. She really needed our help – walking this path shouldering the weight of a toddler with no  help at all would have been absolutely back breaking for her.

This experience, really just a blip in the course of a very busy day, stayed with me and left me thinking. It served as a metaphor to me for the primary lesson I learned about helping people over this past year:

You have to look. You have to be willing to be inconvenienced to see people and their needs. Sometimes, you have to be insistent that you’re not leaving someone who’s obviously struggling alone on their rough road, even though they don’t know what help to ask of you. Just ride with them and be a presence. Just pray.

This Christmas, I am talking to my girls about why we celebrate Christmas, explaining to them that Christmas is the time that we celebrate Jesus’s birthday. In our family, Bug, Husband, and Bear celebrate their birthdays all in a row, starting mid-November and wrapping up mid-December, so my girls are well aware of the concept of birthday celebrations, birth stories, and reflecting on the excitement that they created when they came into this world. Because of all of the birthday celebrations we have just enjoyed, they have an understanding of what celebrating a birth is all about that translates easily to understanding Christmas as a birthday party. Of course, they want to celebrate Jesus, to get him a present for His birthday, so this has given us many opportunities to teach them that Jesus tells us that whatever we do for others is a gift to Him. He tells us that anything we give to bless or help another person, we are actually giving to Him. I am reminded as we give Jesus our gifts this Christmas that this is our calling all year long, not just at Christmas, to celebrate Jesus’s birth, to give him gifts by investing in and giving to the people around us.

To all of my friends and family, you are loved and appreciated more than you know and I am grateful for the gift that you are in my life. I don’t know everyone who reads what I write here, but I can see that the readers have increased by hundreds since I started – to everyone who takes the time to read, thank you, your presence here is a gift to me. Merry Christmas to all of you. I hope and pray that this holiday season finds you in great joy and peace.

With much love,


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