Each one should give, then, as he has decided, not with regret or out of a sense of duty; for God loves the one who gives gladly. 2 Corinthians 9:7 (TEV)
Last night I watched ‘Angela’s Christmas’ 1 and 2, on Netflix. If you watch them, keep tissues handy. They are about a little Irish girl and her beautiful, pure heart. It begins when she goes to church with her mom and siblings. She’s looking at the life size nativity set at the front of the Parrish. She notices baby Jesus is only wearing a diaper and she tells her mom, “He’ll catch His death in this cold.” She sneaks back and tells baby Jesus she’s going to get Him warm, tilts her head and listens to Him, then takes Him outside to bring Him home to warm Him up. She runs into a police officer. He bends down and does the thing, what’s behind your ear and he gives her a coin. As she’s running home, she trips and falls in front of a blind man playing an accordion. She notices he is blind and has a peg for one leg. She gives him the coin, says “Happy Christmas!” and runs home to warm up baby Jesus. Now this family is very poor, yet she gave her coin to someone that needed it. I won’t share the rest, but please watch them if you can.
As I got ready for bed, I thought of a couple of children in my past that were like little Angela. I used to teach kindergarten to second grade Sunday school when I was stationed in New Mexico. One Sunday, Rosalie, one of the little girls in my class, came to me and told me she loved me and tried to give me five dollars. I didn’t want to take it. I knew this family was short on money, but Rosalie’s grandmother told me to please take the money. Rosalie had discussed it with her before church and said she wanted to bless me. Oh my goodness! I could have sobbed right there! It still brings me to tears to think of this tiny girl wanting to bless me with the little she had.
Years later when I was volunteering at The Black Hills Children’s Home in South Dakota, I met Dace. He was 9 or 10 when I met him. I was what they called a ‘School Buddy’. I would visit once a week and we would play, talk Jesus stuff, and laugh a lot. I would also attend the meetings (IEP, Individualized Education Plan) regarding him at the Home as his go between, or parent. The first time I met him, he said, “Whoa! Your face is bright! Do you think I’m a girl?” He had long hair. I told him that I knew he’s a boy. I didn’t understand what he meant about the brightness until I asked my friend, Deana. Dace was Lakota Sioux and evidently that was an insult to a white person. Little did he know, until I told him, that I am Algonquin Indian and French Canadian. The next week I brought him some sunglasses and he laughed so hard he almost fell down! After that, we were buds!
I loved Dace so much. I led him to the Lord and we had so many special talks and lots of laughter. One day near Christmas he handed me the little bear you see in the picture. That’s my Dace and me on the swing. Dace had no parents that wanted him, no home and four stuffed animals, and he handed me this little bear. Once again I can’t keep the tears back thinking of him and his giant, sweet heart.
How is it that we lose that sweetness of heart? Does our stuff mean more to us than showing love to another? Are we so blinded by what’s going on around us that we can’t see the way our Father sees? Spirit, help us! Help us to see as our Father sees. Helps us to simplify our lives as a child that we may express You to the fullest.
I found this Scripture: All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13 (ESV) Taught by the LORD!
Here’s another: I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, And my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14 (NASB)
Look at this Scripture: But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant, and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said, “Yes; have you never read, ‘OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABES THOU HAST PREPARED PRAISE FOR THYSELF’?” Matthew 21:15-16 (NASB)
The Lord taught us as infants and now He has passed this important mission to us. The Lord tells us to teach the children the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. (Psalm 78:4-6)
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. Ephesians 5:1-2 (NASB)
And , fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 (NASB)
Have we done this? Are we doing it now? Help us Spirit, to raise our children up and teach them You and Your ways. Help us to show them, and this includes new knowers of You, Jesus, You as Love, and help us to give and teach others to give out of the sweetness of our heart. Help us to squash any stinginess, and help us to see where to give. Thank You, Spirit, for teaching us and guiding us to the ones searching for Love, our precious Jesus, the most beautiful Gift from the sweetest heart ever. Hallelujah and amen.