I know the true meaning of Christmas. It's about Christ's birth. We give gifts because God gave Jesus to us. But sometimes I still get caught up in the hustle and bustle and gift giving from a worldly perspective. At least, that's what happened to me this year. Thankfully, God saw my need and provided a heart-wrenching story to change me.
It all started the week before Christmas. My children and I were going Christmas shopping for a few friends, and I had planned to take them to the pet store to pick out a few fun things for our pets.
We decided to stop by Wendy's for lunch and noticed a middle-aged woman begging in the parking lot - with her TWO SONS! The worst part - it was rainy and 40 degrees. Brrrrrr! We all made judgmental comments about her ability to parent etc.. Not one of my proudest moments.
Next, we ordered our food and I let my kids choose the seat. They walked to the back of the restaurant and sat in front of the window with a clear view of the beggar. To my dismay, the boys came into Wendy's and ordered some food. We all watched them as they proceeded to walk to the back room and sit near us. Another woman went over and gave them a $5 bill. She spoke with them briefly. We watched as one boy scurried out to give the money to his mom. The boys were 10 and 11, my own son is 10 and I know how much he loves his mommy. My heart began to break.
My kids began asking me if we could please give them some money. I looked in my wallet and announced that we only had $6 in cash left. I told my kids how sad I was not to have more cash on me. Then the Lord reminded me of the two $50 bills I had in my secret section of my purse. My intention was to buy gifts for our pets with some of that money. OUCH!
In God's eyes, people are the most important commodity and pets don't really need a Christmas gift. I quietly reached into my pocket and pulled out the two bills. I placed them on the table and asked my kids what we should do? Their eyes were wide with thought and they discussed it amongst themselves. One thought a singe $50 would do, while the others decided we should give them all of the money. After all, we are in need of nothing.
I let my kids give the boys the money. The boys were blown away and ran to give it to their mom. As we got up to leave, one of the boys ran up to us and said, "I can't believe you gave us that much money, thank you so very much!" My kids proceeded to tell him about the Lord and how much we loved them.
My heart broke for those boys, and that mom. As we drove off, there were no more judgements coming out of our mouths. Instead we decided to pray for them.
Even though we blessed them with money on that day, they forever changed our hearts. What they did for us far outweighed what we did for them.