We love each other because he loved us first.
-1 John 4:19
I recently traveled out of state for my aunt’s funeral. It was a lovely celebration recognizing her life, our love for her, and the fact that she is now worshiping Jesus in Heaven. My cousins, Mindy and Beth, one of my uncles, an aunt, and I shared memories, scripture, and music before the pastor took over in the service. I had the honor of singing “What a Day That Will Be” as a duet with my cousin Beth.
Later I got to hear a story about the song we had sung. On the other side of the family, Mindy had an aunt we will call Ethel who was on her deathbed. Mindy and her sister Marilyn were in the room with their Aunt Ethel. Mindy was holding Ethel’s hand and decided to sing “What a Day That Will Be,” and Aunt Ethel beautifully passed into the arms of Jesus as Mindy sang to her. However, in my family with its twisted, fun sense of humor, Mindy is often jokingly told that she killed Aunt Ethel with her singing! So we had a good laugh at Mindy’s expense.
This funny little anecdote led to other stories about many sick, dying, or shut-in people being visited by Mindy and her father over the years. During the conversation, Mindy offhandedly said something that will stick with me forever. She said, “you know, the goal is that no one feels alone.” Just think about that statement and dwell on it for a moment.
I am a very busy person. Sometimes I forget to slow down and look. Slow down and notice. Slow down and see the needs around me. There are people everywhere who need to experience our love in action. Not our money and gifts.
There are things I can do without much thought: a mailed Christmas card, a phone call, a ding-dong dash (ring the doorbell and run away leaving a surprise meal or goodies on a family’s porch), saying a kind word or compliment, paying for the coffee of the person behind you in line. These are all good things and need to be done. These are all fun. It is a great place to start and a great way to share love at Christmastime, but if the goal is that no one feels alone, that takes a bit more commitment. We may need to try inviting people into our home, offering to do grocery pickups, setting up a weekly phone or lunch date, or being regular users of snail mail.
IF I AM STILL and ask for His direction, God always points me to a need and a way to meet it.
We come to you today with love in our hearts for You and your purpose. We thank you and praise you for your love. We thank you that we can share that love with others. Please use us to show your love this Christmas and all through the year. Open our eyes to see those who may feel alone. Let us slow down and listen to the prompts of your still, small voice so that we can be your hands and feet for those who may be in need.
In the beautiful name of Jesus, we pray,