Most of my life currently revolves around children, so brace yourself for another kid-saturated blog!
In the nineties, when I got my new pair of school shoes each year, I would save the shoe box. I knew I would need it a few months following when December rolled around, for my family took part in Operation Christmas Child. It’s a brilliant project extension of Samaritan’s Purse, an international aid organization initiated by Bob Pierce and Franklin Graham.
Essentially, millions of boys and girls around the world are mailed shoeboxes stuffed to the brim with little toys, candies, toothbrushes, socks, or crayons…whatever can fit! My sister and I used to have a ball (i.e.: we would actually dance around in the aisles of the Dollar General) shopping for these items.Packing a shoebox each fall took sponsoring a child to the next level. Somehow, the faces on the refrigerator pinned by a World Vision magnet suddenly became more real and alive.
On a whim, I decided to participate this year after a lapse of a decade. Then, I thought, “Why not have Sophie help me out?” Sophie is the bright and lively 5-year-old I have the privilege of watching. I thought she might enjoy prancing around Target with me searching for fun little items. Boy, was I wrong.
I mean…I was right, but I was definitely wrong about the measure of her willingness. She was distinctly overjoyed to help. Within minutes of explaining the project, she was looking for things around the house. I had to gently explain that we needed to buy the gifts. A few moments later, she was making a card for our prospective little girl. It was no longer a project, but a gripping mission.
It was and is remarkable.
Oh, Jesus. I can see You smiling. Oh, that I would capture this heart of giving in my everyday, “run-of-the-mill” life.
Mailing these boxes is such a small stroke of the more grand portrait in the Kingdom. But I know opening those boxes must bring about extraordinary joy for those children who receive. And I know sending those boxes produces joyful givers for those who send.
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” -2 Corinthians 9:7