We gathered in the church parking lot. Everyone came bearing gifts. Everyone came to bless another in need. Everyone came because we wanted to show the kind of Love that Jesus taught would set us apart.
During a time when we remember the birth of Christ and the visit of the wise men bearing gifts for the Newborn King, we’ve come with the same sense of honor… to bless the heart of our Savior.
At the appointed time we got in our cars to drive over to the home of an unsuspecting family.
We gathered in the front lawn, singing Christmas carols. Somewhere around 40 people gathering like a flash mob to perform this act of love.
By itself the singing was a blessing to a family with little to celebrate this year, and with a move out of their home only days away.
This is my favorite part…
Blessed by the unexpected visit, this family still had no idea what was about to happen. Sometimes it’s nice to know that so many people care about you enough to come sing songs full of Love and the Joy of the season.
But the reality is that the sour economy has hit some pretty hard, leaving little room for real rejoicing.
So, after a couple of carols were met by grateful smiles, IT happened…
Each gift-bearer in attendance approached the home and unsuspecting family handing them some sort of gift.
Some carried food. Others flowers. Many with cards filled with words of encouragement. Most with cash or gift cards. Each gift personally decided upon by the giver when invited to come share with a family who is living in difficult times now.
Each gift a blessing to a family who has poured themselves out so often into others.
As we gathered inside, we shared handshakes and hugs, but only for a moment. Our intent isn’t to stay or to expect anything in return from the family that we just love-blitzed. Rather to show up, pour our extravagantly, and leave. No strings. No expectations. Only Love (yes, with a capital L).
So one man speaks to the crowd. One man shares his heart with the family. This man has been on the receiving end of this before, and couldn’t wait for the opportunity to do it for someone else.
His speech was simple, but there was no need to elaborate. We were there because we wanted to show the Love of Christ during a time when it was needed most. And then he prayed.
Then as quickly as we all arrived, we departed. Again sharing handshakes, hugs, and words of encouragement.
Love looks like something to each one of us. And on this day, this family saw Love when they least expected it but needed it most.
Days later, my wife spoke to the wife/mother of this family. We learned more about their situation, and just how huge this blessing was to the family. I don’t want to share all the details, but times were really tough. And this act of Love gave the family Hope like they never thought possible.
When I see this picture of a man, a husband, a father who has struggled during some very difficult times… I wonder when the last time he really smiled was.
Today it was easy to smile. Amen.