This morning we send out the Christmas cards to our sponsored children. We are late this year—the trip to the Canyon having created a glut in the schedule. I make a mental note to call WorldVision—ask about the timing of these things.
I sign the cards the way I always do: We love you…and I finger the picture of Romedan that came while I was in Texas. He has changed so much since we first chose him. Over the years, we’ve watched his smile grow in photographs. I tuck the school pictures of his white-skinned American brothers into the envelope with his card. For his safety, I cannot tell him that Jesus loves him. Instead, I tell Him the Lord loves you, and I pray Jesus will make himself known to this little boy who has so much of my heart.
I tell the boys that I would rather send baby chicks than money. Aren’t these baby chicks cute?I say. Why not a goat? Jeffrey asks. Don’t you think goats are cute? But I check the box for the monetary gift because I know there are others who will know better what kind of gift my children need.
I pray over the envelopes. Of the three cards I send, only one bears the name of Jesus. Christmas without Jesus? There is an ache in my chest that starts as a low thrum and grows until it hammers my ribcage and springs a leak at the corners of my eyes.
When I was in the Canyon last week, Chris and Ann asked me when did you begin to write? How did that whole thing get started?
It felt like a foolish story—about Jeffrey’s first Thanksgiving. How we danced together and he giggled his baby giggle. He wasn’t quite yet two and did not talk much but that was when he first said I love you to me. I had to ask him to say it again, it so took me by surprise. And he did. And I was overcome. I asked the Lord that day, What do I do with this kind of love? Where do I go with this? And the Lord put a story in my heart about a mama and a son. I started writing it down in secret…it was too tender to share.
God used that story and the process of writing it to woo me to Him. I felt His presence on the page. I still do. But it wasn’t until I shared it that it was able to bless others.
I finger the latest picture of Romedan and I feel my heart swell again. And I ask God that same tried question: What do I do with this kind of love, Lord? Where do I go with it?
The kitchen is quiet and the sun streams through the bay and soon we will share the feast of Thanksgiving with our family and we will be emptied out and filled all at once.
And I lick the envelope to send love over miles and seas and deserts and mountains.
Won’t you send love too? There are so many ways to help. We sponsor our children through WorldVision--it’s just how it worked out for us. Perhaps you are looking for a different way? Here’s a wonderful project my friend Dena is helping with. And there’s this from Deidra. And Compassion is always a beautiful option. Today I am thinking of how blessed I am. I want to be a blessing too.