"Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God." - Mark 10:14
This is the bible verse written on hundreds of books I delivered to the Children's Inn last night. Hopefully the boxes of books will last a little while, as they are intended for children ages 5 and under. But in addition to my book delivery last night, I also delivered 21 blankets, to make a gift set, for the 21 children, ages 5 and under, that will be spending Christmas at the shelter because their homes are not safe. Sadly, this count does not include the women and other children that are over 5 years...
I brought Isaac with me, mostly to be my helper. On our way there it dawned on me: he will be celebrating 6 Christmas parties this year, with 6 families that love him, protect him, and help him succeed. I have no doubt in my mind that Isaac is aware of all of the love and support he has, as well as the sheer amount of presents he'll be raking in this holiday season. But what about those 21 kids, 5 and under, whose homes are too unsafe to spend Christmas? Where is their love and support? Please don't misunderstand me - the effort of the Children's Inn staff is a Christmas miracle for the women and children that need them all year long. But the shelter, although safe, still isn't "home." Not the kind of home I know and love.
I think of the Christmas lists my son made and all of the toys and games he wants. And although there are a few things on that list he will be denied - like the live lizard, for example - most of his wishes he will get this year. Not to mention those few things I know he'll love, that he just didn't think to ask for.
I think of my own Christmas wish, of spending time with the people I love most. And I can feel the anticipation of the gatherings that start in just a few days. It's palpable. It's so close, I can almost taste the treats and smell dinner cooking. I don't have to wait long for my wish to be granted.
I can't imagine Christams wishes like mine being worlds away from my grasp. I can't imagine wishing the person I loved most would love me in a less painful way. I can't imagine my child wishing for fears that he should never have had to experience in the first place to subside. Or for him to be excited about the very things we take for granted every day - like the milk in the fridge, the blankets on our beds, and even the toys on the shelf (or, more frequently, on the floor). It's unfathomable.
This holiday season, and every season, we should all say a prayer for those less fortunate. Lend a helping hand in some way, whether it be through a donation or deed. I know in my heart there is more I can do for others. It is easy to forget, when it isn't the life you live, but helping one in need is something you'll never regret. And it may be the best gift they have ever received.