You Might Save A Life This Christmas
By Aesha Adams-Roberts
"I thought about suicide." She said it so matter-of-factly, that I almost missed the impact of what she'd said. We were sitting in the faculty dining room, our University's version of a four star restaurant.
She was afraid to walk over the threshold into the dining room, and clung to her winter coat like a security blanket instead of checking it at the door. While we sat at the table, the waitstaff served us ice cold water in wine goblets while she kept smoothing over her long beautiful hair as though she were unsure of herself. She confessed to me that in all the years she'd worked for the university in the maintenence department, she'd never eaten there. She felt like she didn't belong. I told her God wanted her to know how precious she was and told me to treat her like a princess.
After we both scarfed down a few pieces of fried fish, she opened her heart to me. She shared about her marriage to minister who turned out to be a con artist, his eventual arrest after the birth of their daughter, and his current attempts to get full custody despite the fact he hadn't been around for over 10 years. The court battle was draining her bank account and her emotional strength.
Instantly, I knew want to do. You see, my husband and I had decided that instead of buying Christmas gifts for each other we'd take that money and secretly bless someone else. The single mom sitting at the table across from me was someone I'd known from church and we reconnected again when I began my career as a college student. She cleaned the offices in my department and we'd spend time in the evenings chatting. God put her on my heart to bless her during Christmas, but I didn't know why. . . or how. So I started with just taking her to lunch. From there, I spent a day pampering her at the mall and then presented her with a check to help out with her legal fees. She was in tears, and thanked me, but I wanted her to know that God had not forgotten about her and that He was just using me to remind her how amazing she was.
Why do I share this with you? Because there are many people around you right now who are hopeless, especially during the holiday season. It's easy to complain about not having enough money for gifts or grumble about how superficial and commercial Christmas has become. The stress of trying to have a perfect Christmas or the pressure we feel to give gifts to family members who don't appreciate them can get to us. But I want to challenge you this year to do something a little different. . .
This Christmas, let's infect our communities with giving! Not just the obligatory gifts to family and friends, but give to someone in your neighborhood, your church, your job who has lost hope, has no money for food or gifts, or who may be lonely or even suicidal. Let's give HOPE this year and let people know they are not alone.
I challenge you to ask God to show you who to bless this year. It doesn't have to be a lot. Maybe it could be a gift card to a homeless person with a note that says, "God has not forgotten you," or maybe a friend who needs his light bill paid. I'll leave your Christmas charity project up to you and God Just know whatever you do, you'll be making a difference in someone's life.
Let's do this, you and me together! Are you with me? Let me know on my Facebook page!