Why Bother Giving Comfort and Joy?
I know a few things about Christmas gifts. First, I know that if I do not possess a gift, I cannot give one. Secondly, I know that I cannot force a person to receive any gift I offer them. Instead, they have to be receptive to it. Lastly, I know from experience that the best gifts are not the ones with a price tag, nor do they come wrapped in colorful paper and tied with big red bows. Consequently, the best gifts I can offer anyone are the gifts of comfort and joy.
Gifting Strangers and Friends
I am not opposed to giving gifts. Recently, I took the opportunity to pull a name off a giving tree and fill a stranger’s request. On the card they’d asked for some long underwear and warm socks. It wasn’t hard for me to buy these items, have them gift wrapped and deliver them to the designated drop off station. I will never know who this person was, nor will I ever know their particular circumstances. But I did know how to give them some comfort and joy by simply responding to their expressed needs.
The other day, I decided to walk to my yoga class instead of driving. It was a snowy morning and the roads were slick. I watched a car turn onto a busy street and slide into a snowbank. I wasn’t sure if I could help, but I stopped and asked anyway. The passenger, a man, stood in front of the car assessing the situation while the driver, a woman, stood by. I asked if I could help, but the man just shrugged his shoulders letting me know he did not think it would do any good. But instead of giving in to the stranger’s sense of hopelessness, I asked the driver to put her car in reverse. Then the man and I pushed together and the car moved out of the snowbank and back onto the street with ease. We were both surprised and delighted. As they drove away the driver waved and shouted, “Thank you.”
When some friends of ours arrived home from ministering to family members in need, we invited them over for dinner. I am not an extravagant cook, but I know how to be hospitable. I served them a simple hot meal of the foods I knew they liked and we talked leisurely into the evening. Upon their departure, we hugged and shared our gratitude for each other’s friendship. My heart was warmed by their company and I know they left our home feeling nourished and refreshed.
Why bother giving away comfort and joy? Comfort and joy are gifts worth giving because when we do, our hearts glow warm.