It has been a hard week since the tragedy of those many young lives that were senselessly lost last Friday in Connecticut. This week, I have heard God whisper to me to keep my eyes open for the good things. Yes, there is a lot of tragedy in this world. And, honestly, there are many things that could leave us heartbroken and paralyzed if we opened our eyes to see into the depths of other lives - those around the block as well as those in countries outside our own.
And at the same time, I keep hearing more clearly God reminding me to look around and celebrate the good things - like my friends who are expecting new life and the joyous new marriages that are taking place. We need to find joy in this season by looking to the cradle, even when it is easier to look to the grave. So today, I saw the meaning of Christmas and the purpose of that cradle before my very eyes.
After our lunch and devotion at Gallatin CARES, a new mom and her mother (the new grandmother) asked me if I knew of any cribs that had been donated to the Thrift Store next door and if we could hold one for them. I explained that they just randomly show up and I hadn't seen one but that I would keep my eyes open for them next time I shopped. Shortly after this, I popped over to the store and we found a crib that had been donated just this morning. It was a nice wooden crib, in good shape, that was fairly priced at $75. The mom and grandmother were actually even more discouraged after seeing it and said it was simply out of their price range. We began talking and I asked what their price range was. I had a little cash in my pocket and quickly considered taking part of the burden from them but something held me back from suggesting that immediately. Something had me just wait a moment before suggesting anything at all. Within that moment, a man appeared out of nowhere. He walked up to this new mom and grandmother and asked them if they would allow him to purchase this $75 crib for them.
I wish I could bottle up the emotion that this moment held for each of us. The man, humbly offering to help this family. The women, humbly accepting his help. And me, humbly being allowed to simply witness this gift of a cradle for a new birth.
The scripture we studied today just before these women received this gift was Matthew 2:11:
They entered the house and saw the child with Mary his mother. Falling to their knees, they honored him. Then they opened their treasure chests and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (CEB)
Good things do still happen. Gifts are still being given and love is being shown. Jesus came to teach us this lesson. Let us be the givers and doers and sometimes simply the observers of the good things because they do still happen.
Keep your eyes open my friends, keep your eyes open.
Whitney R. Simpson
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Whitney R. Simpson,
Exploring Peace Ministries, LLC