*Vulnerability Alert* If honesty and transparency make you uncomfortable then don’t read on.
Lately I have had a lot of thoughts colliding. They come from many different places. A couple of articles I have read on simplicity and one from a “poor” woman explaining poverty. I have friends who have lost jobs, are in the process of losing jobs, and are getting divorced. I live in a neighborhood with those who live under the poverty line every day. My own family is struggling financially and it seems like more often than not others are too.
Christmas is supposed to be a time when we focus on the birth of our Savior. However, it also feels like a time of the year when the fight for “stuff” is in our face more than ever. Add to this the reality that people are struggling daily to meet needs more than wants. So here’s what I am keeping in mind this season:
Simplicity Is Only A Choice When It Is A Choice:
Those who grapple to feed their kids are not thinking about spending less or going into debt. They are bothered because they want to give their kids A GIFT. They become overly focused on this desire because they feel trapped and like they can’t do for their own family. Before you write a post about “streamlining” remember this is not a “choice” for some, there isn’t anything to simplify.
A Gift From You Is Still A Gift From You:
That child you buy the “angel tree” gift for is appreciative. Their parents are appreciative that their child has something under the tree. However, it is still not a gift from the parent. It smacks your pride and dignity when you can’t do for your own, but want to. One present doesn’t “solve” the bigger issues, but you as the parent need the gift.
“Give ME, Give ME,” Comes from a Broken Spirit:
I spend a lot of time talking with those who are trying to get more out of the “system.” It comes from a broken place of helplessness. Those kids who appear to have all the stuff but are acting out more? They want to know they are important this season. Honestly, as I spend time in ministry where I “give” it is easy for my own heart to be more focused on what I want to “get” out of it.
Those In Need Are Not Always Obvious:
Some don’t want to be considered the one who is “in need.” They are struggling right now and could use a friend. They may not tell you. Slow down enough to notice. Remember to not be so much about the “act of giving” this season that you forget the people.
Ultimately in making the connections through my thoughts I have come to ask this question of each of us.
Can We Love Someone This Season?
Instead of just putting a tag on a gift, what can we do that is THOUGHTFUL to show someone some extra love? Who in your reach could use an extra touch just to know they are cared for? It isn’t about the presents, the surviving or the hurt at all. I think there is something about the bustle of this season that hungers to know we too are important. More important than the wrapping.
Isn’t that why Jesus came at all?