NO ONE should go hungry in the United States. NO ONE!
As you do your shopping, add a couple of cans of beans or evaporated milk or a few jars of baby food to your basket.
Trust me, it's not painful, it won't hurt.
What follows is a very special post from a beautiful young woman who is facing her mortality at far too young an age.
She is special and dear to my heart and I have been blessed that she has openly shared her journey with me.
A few days ago she sent me an email and I asked if I could share it on my blog because it's
That Time Of Yearwhen we should be remembering what GIVING is all about. I know it's a bit long, but I hope you will take the time to read this story from a most beautiful human being.
My Christmas Story
Yesterday, I held a "Garage Sale," but it was more of a giveaway event. I held it in the crummiest part of town, intentionally. With the help and support of a few amazing friends, I boxed up various items from my house and as many new items as I could acquire.
When people stopped in and asked me prices I said, "It's free, please take what you'd like." To every child I saw, I told them to pick out anything of their choosing, and as long as the adult they were with said it was ok to have, they could have it.
Most of the children picked toys, but some didn't. Some chose a purse, a book, a cd, a piece of clothing or jewelry. Whatever. It was fascinating to watch them scurry about and put thought into their selection. I got hugs and thank yous. It was a magical, beautiful day. 75 degrees outside in December!
A very old woman came by, with her adult daughter. She told me that she had 12 grandchildren whom she'd never been able to give Christmas gifts to, because even an item from the Dollar Store would add up to more than her resources allowed. Together, we filled a box with enough for all 12 grandchildren to receive gifts from their grandmother. She was absolutely delighted. She had no teeth, but she smiled the biggest smile I've ever seen, filled with pure joy. She was beautiful. These were what society would call "poor people", because they really have no money. But, I saw no poverty yesterday. I saw the spirit of Christmas, I saw love. And, in the eyes of every grateful child of any age, I saw the face of God.
Not one person showed greed or took more than what was reasonable. I left it pretty open, anyone could have loaded up their pick up truck if they wanted to, but not a single person did. A few people gave me money, even though I didn't want it. They told me that they appreciated my acts and I received prayers of blessings and hugs. I don't care what the calendar reads. It was MY Christmas.
Towards the end of the day, I met a little boy named Aubrey. My selections were getting slim and I feared there would be nothing there that he'd like. But, he found a pink glittery deer horn that I'd bedazzled and he was fascinated with it. He put it on his forehead and said he was a unicorn. He really loved it.
He tapped my arm and said, "Ma'am, I need to tell you something." I sat on the ground to be at his eye level and asked what it was.
His reply was, "Jesus told me that when you die, ma'am, you're going to be an angel. He said you'll have wings and you'll be able to fly, and you won't hurt". Then he took my hand and said, "It's true ma'am. Jesus told me to tell you that and I don't tell lies."
It was the most beautiful, magical day ever! I merely shared material items with those in need, but I'm the one who was truly blessed. I hesitated in sharing this story, because it was "my joy", so precious and intimate. "My blessings". Then I realized that's exactly why I should share it. Joy and love are meant to be shared, that's the whole point.
A grandmother will be able to lovingly give her 12 grandchildren gifts, for the first time ever. That's beautiful. Adults who didn't have sweaters for the impending winter weather are now outfitted. A community was visiting and sharing recipes, and I saw more than a few neighbors who'd never before met strike up conversations.
Many words we use we are taught to believe are "emotions" or "feelings," abstract terms, open to interpretation. Yesterday, I SAW joy, and love, and gratitude, and community. I SAW God yesterday, in every smiling face and I HEARD God yesterday, in every child's giggle.
I'm crying as I type this. Tears of gratitude for yesterday's experience. Tears of joy for the opportunity to be blessed so much. Tears of Love for the grace of God.
There is no such thing as "giving till it hurts". It doesn't hurt at all to give. It is the best feeling in the world. It's as simple as smiling at a stranger, setting an extra place at the table for someone who's hungry, or sharing items that you'll never miss with a community in need. If you can do more, do more. If you can do little, do little.
As Mother Theresa wrote, "If you can't feed a hundred people, feed just one". If we each practiced this, think of the domino effect it would have. As sadly as a community can be destroyed (ie. Ferguson, Missouri), a community can be lifted, as I saw happen yesterday.
Many people asked when I'd be back. They remembered they had some things around their homes that they weren't using, or offered to cook enchiladas and cakes. The "poor people" realized that they weren't "poor" at all. A woman offered her sewing skills, as another said she loved to iron. I think everyone is currently baby sitting each other's children now. Men were talking about combining efforts to mow the grass and fix up Mrs. Rodrigues' home, as she's been recently widowed and her house is not in well condition. It was LOVE. I'm not sure that I'll be able to host another event like yesterday, as my own physical health declines; but I know that I'll do everything I can to help, to encourage, to support it.
And again, I'm engulfed in the bliss that is true gratitude and being present in the moment. Absolute Nirvana. Only by God's will did yesterday happen. Only by God's will am I typing this. I've unintentionally fought God's will for as long as I can remember. I didn't mean to, and I truly don't feel I was aware that I was doing it. But, the more that I recognize and allow His will to occur, the more blessed I become.
And lil Aubrey with his beautiful message ~ I am in a state of true humility for that miracle. I think that was God telling me, "Good job, kid". I can think of no higher compliment or no better state to be in than that which I am in right this minute.
May you enjoy this holiday season with the true spirit of Christmas in your every moment, to the very marrow of your bones.
Thanks for letting me share this Sweet A.
Thanks for letting me share this with you, my fellow bloggers.
Thanks for letting me share this with you, my fellow bloggers.