I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
—Étienne de Grellet du Mabillier (1773–1855)
With 2016 coming to a close, I feel it important for us to remember our blessings, to remember the goodness we have in our lives, and to offer that goodness to bless others. This year, many have experienced great loss and are in need of help from others.
I once heard a story that touches on this. I think it went something like this:
On a busy Christmas Eve, people were rushing through a subway station, anxious to get home to their families. The station was crowded with people and big shopping bags, and everyone’s patience seemed to hang by a thread.
There was a little lame boy, sitting on the ground selling newspapers and candy bars to the passersby. Not many even noticed him. Suddenly, a rushed passenger ran right over the boy, sending him and his papers and candy scattering all over the ground. The man cursed him for being in his way and rushed off to catch his train, leaving the boy sprawled out, watching helplessly as his goods were trampled underfoot by the unknowing commuters.
As the boy began gathering what he could, a man stopped, picked up the boy, and sat him back in his place. He gathered the rest of the boy’s things and gave him enough money to cover the cost of the damaged goods and a little more just for him. He smiled at the boy before he turned to catch his train.
Then the boy called out, “Hey mister, are you Jesus?” The man turned back, looked at the boy, and said, “No, I’m not Jesus, but I’m just trying to do what He would do.”
I invite you to open your hearts, hands, and pocketbooks to those less fortunate this Christmas season. There are many ways to contribute and offer aid. Whether it’s wrapping blankets around the homeless, providing gifts to a needy family, or something else, I invite you to spend a little time outside yourself in the service of others this year.
I intend to do so.
Happy Christmas from all of us to you and yours!