My mind has been flooded and rather overwhelmed with thoughts on charity this week. This is probably not a shock to the many of you who have shown tremendous charity to our family over the past few months. Truth is we’ve been on the receiving end of some of the most sincere and simple acts of charity I know. And I won't sleep tonight until I put pen to paper on some of my random revelations. (This would be the more-for-me-than-you part of this online journal :). )
Take the box pictured at the top of this post. It is chock full of activities for me to do with my kids while we’re on lockdown with McKay. A dear friend dropped by out of the blue a couple nights ago at the crescendo of a long day. Play dough, music, coloring books, fruit loop necklaces, you name it; it’s in there. My kids practically hyperventilate until it’s time to open the “Present of the Day.” It gives us something to look forward to, something to get excited about, something to talk about other than why I can’t take them to the zoo, the aquarium, the store. Instead, they want to stay home and exhaust the surprise activity at hand. And of course it is all that much more exciting because it is not from mom. As my friend explained the box over McKay's screaming, I cried. She cried. She came in and held my (in that moment) sad little babe for five minutes so I could show some love to his older brothers and help them get PJs on. Then she left as gently as she came. An absolute angel. Can you imagine how unbelievably grateful I am for her?
And the kindness continues. I was introduced to the concept of the "porch visit" today by another friend. A highly charitable activity. The best I can explain it is this--It’s kind of like when the prisoner comes to the special desk partitioned with Plexiglas and picks up the phone to visit with whomever is on the other side. Only porch visits are better because you can give that I-understand-what-your-going-through-and-it’s-all going-to-be-okay hug at the end of your chat. And you don’t have to wear the orange jumpsuit. Huge bonus.
Add that kind of love to the phone calls, meals, babysitting, and presently non-reciprocal car pool, and the prayers; the many, many prayers--it all adds up to overwhelm a girl who usually feels very uncomfortable receiving such kindnesses. I think most of us do. No one likes to be the “charity case.” We’d all prefer to give the help, make the meal, be the genius who comes up with the box of activities for the kids (seriously!). But the epiphany that has come to me today is that not only do I need to be more aware and proactive about meeting the needs of others around me; but why would I ever discourage any form of charity (read: pure love) in my life?
The simple clarity that is mine to share is this—If Christ himself showed up at my door and asked me if I would like Him to perform miracles for my family, would I ever turn Him away? NEVER. I would fall at His feet, welcome Him in, and beg Him to stay. What I understand very clearly today is that He doesn’t have to come. Instead he has sent an army of angels to surround our family and share His love. So many of you are those angels. Please understand I know whose errand you’re on and I do not take it lightly. I will spend the rest of my life paying your kindnesses forward; so aware that I don’t need the okay from someone to serve them. I just need to serve Him. And He will let me know what needs to be done.
I cannot adequately express the way my testimony of so many things has grown this year. But in this season where we all soften our hearts a bit and turn our thoughts to a small baby that changed everything, I cannot help feel a bit of a parallel in my life. I am humbled. I am grateful. I am in awe. There is so, so much to be thankful for.