At the outset of this Christmas season, I urged all of us—myself included—to go out of our way and share Jesus’ love. Just like Jesus went out of His way for us. Here’s how He’s led so far.
One of my dear friends is going through a multi-year challenge. While the end is in sight, she didn’t have the heart to prepare her house for Christmas. She was in a grin and bear it mode. One morning during prayer, the Lord whispered an idea to me. We could decorate her home while she was out. I gathered some friends, we rallied our spare decorations, snuck into her house, and turned it into Christmas. When she came home, she called me and said, “Oh my word, Lisa, this is amazing! When I opened the front door, I thought I must be in the wrong house! You guys are too much. Okay, okay, I’m officially entering into the Christmas spirit now. THANK YOU!”
The man in the alley said, “Hello,” when one of our staffers greeted him. He was wearing a bright red hoodie, and she said, “I see you have your Christmas red on!” He laughed and agreed. As they parted ways, the Spirit spoke to her heart, “The box of chocolates you’re carrying is for him.” She thought it was for our clients. I’ll let her share the rest… “So on cue, as I looked back at him walking in the opposite direction, he too looked back at me. Then, it’s like everything was slowed. I told him I was going to deliver the box of candy to someone else, but wanted instead to give it to him. I laughingly said, ‘You’re free to binge on it all by yourself, or have fun sharing them.’ We were super close at this point, and he, with few teeth remaining, said, ‘I have five children, ma’am.’ So I said, ‘Then I guess you’ll have fun sharing them! Merry Christmas!’ I felt such love for this man. As I handed him the box, I asked, ‘May I give you a hug?’ And there, on the corner of 8th and an alley, we were in a full-on heartily-embraced hug. He said, ‘God bless you!’ I thanked him and went on my way knowing that—indeed—God HAD just blessed me!”
When our staff converged upon a local cafe carrying all the trimmings for a Christmas tree—including a small live tree!—the owner said, “Oh man, you’re going to make me cry.” One of our staffers had gathered everything we needed. Before heading to the café, we read scriptures together, prayed for the workers, and signed a card for them. We toted our merriment to the café, outfitted the tree, tucked it in a vacant corner, and sang carols. The owner stood at the counter, taking it all in with tear-brimmed eyes. My tears didn’t stay in my eyes. Afterwards, there were hugs all around. One more gesture of Christ-filled love was extended to those precious men that day!
“Prepare God’s arrival! Make the road smooth and straight! Every ditch will be filled in, Every bump smoothed out, The detours straightened out, All the ruts paved over. Everyone will be there to see the parade of God’s salvation” (Luke 3:4-6 MSG).
Jesus is leading the salvation parade. As leaders, let’s LEAD in sharing His salvation message everywhere we go.
How have you gone beyond the norm this Christmas, however great or seemingly small? Feel free to share in the Comment Section below.