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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Giving Ourselves in the Giving Season

Nancy E. Head - Contributing Writer

“What do you need?” my husband asked the director of a local food pantry during the holidays one year. The two had just met ‘by chance’.

A big smile spread across Bob’s face. “Nothing.”

Then he outlined a story about a great need the pantry staff had faced the week before. For years, a local company donated $2,000 worth of turkeys every Christmas. But the company was now gone, replaced by a larger corporate entity.

No more turkeys.

Someone had made a donation that would have put a tiny dent in this need. But Christmas was coming fast.

Then Bob’s phone rang. A local grocer was in a panic. Someone had accidentally frozen dozens of turkeys labeled “fresh”. The company could write off the turkeys. But they could not sell them.

“When would you like us to pick them up?” Bob asked.

He has regarded the prayer of the destitute and has not despised their prayer. Psalm 102:17 NASV

The holiday season is filled with stories of kindness. But only God could have “accidentally” provided so many turkeys, the exact need for the pantry’s patrons.

As miracles go, this one is small. But tiny miracles are sometimes the ones with the most power to encourage.

My friend was ringing a bell beside a red kettle. Passersby impressed her with their generous donations to the kettle and a gift of hot chocolate for her.

On social media, I read of a worn out mother trying to get her weary little ones through a restaurant lunch. A fellow diner paid for her family’s meals and helped her herd her flock to her car.

Two men in line at a busy store began to argue–each encouraging the other to go first.

My husband Paul and I were at the post office waiting to mail packages that were not quite ready to go. A stranger waiting with us helped me wrap. Paul held our places in line. She folded. I taped. The process was fun and not frustrating as it might have been.

Someone might argue that these encounters are nothing like real miracles. The laws of nature stood intact through each story.

Each encounter, though, reflects regard for neighbor over self. Each person who reached out touched others and those who stood by as witnesses.

Imago Dei–God’s image reflected in small acts of kindness. Wonderful little miracles to give hope to those in need, to a weary traveler, to a busy shopper.

Perhaps those who received their Christmas meals from the pantry did not realize the miracle of the turkeys. But we know that these meals, like manna, came from above.

We are on the cusp of the giving season that celebrates God giving Himself.

We can give the miracle of us and be imago Dei to others.

“But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You." 1 Chronicles 29:14 NASV

Copyright © 2017 Nancy E. Head. Used by permission.

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