I normally wouldn’t start an entry like this, but this may offend some, and if it does think about the reason why it offended you and think is it something worth being offended over.
This entry has been weeks in the works, and frankly I thought nope I’m not going to post this but then I thought…why not… Christmas changed for me when I was around 12, I went on my first mission trip over the Christmas Holidays, were we served the low income and homeless in an area where this was and is a growing concern. Now I had been on trips before, but not one like this. I’ve work with the homeless before, but not like this. Even now I cry as I write this, because I can remember like it was yesterday the pain and hopelessness of the people we meet. I saw for the first time a girl younger than me, living on the streets with her mom, with nothing but the clothes on their back and a small bag. My heart ached, my family didn’t have much, but I was beyond blessed and didn’t even know it. That moment I realized how selfish I was how I wanted things that didn’t matter (and i wasn’t one to even ask for much) and how I didn’t appreciate what I did have. We were only there a week to help, so what about every other day of every other week for years to come. One night I was so sad about the things I saw and the feelings I felt that I pulled away from the group and started to cry, one of the homeless guys came over and bought me cocoa, this broke me down. Here I am weeping for him and he feels my pain and reached out to me.
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40
I’m not quoting that scripture because of what we were doing for them, but because of what that man, a homeless man, was doing for me. THAT’S the face of Christ, when even in his pain and lack, he reached out to help me.
How did we get so lost from this?
How did we forget the reason we are here?
How did we lose our focus?
That on this day a child was born, to later be sacrificed for us. And we don’t deserve it even though we so desperately need it. Instead we stress out, buy stuff to put ourselves in debt, and some even hurt others to get gifts for their ‘loved’ ones, we get upset when we don’t get what we want, we push and yell and are cruel to others. How did this become ok?
Why do we continue to let this be ok?
That year changed me, it made me see beyond myself, it opened my eyes to see that everything wasn’t prefect for everyone else that real pain existed and you didn’t have to go that far to find it. These were all things I knew before, but seeing is truly believing.
Now I try everyday to be different, to remember that man that night and think ‘whatever you do for the least of these’. I don’t always succeed. But I try to never walk by a person in need without doing a little something, somedays all I have to give is a word of encouragement, but it’s something. I never want to forget that the Birth of Christ is not a season, it’s a daily remembrance of love and sacrifice.