The Gift.

I sit here, my heart aching and pounding.  Tears cloud my eyes and my chin quivers.

A completely stranger spontaneously gives $300 so our friends at Nurture a Child Uganda can host a Christmas party for countless children in their community.  Yes.  A family in Northern Uganda will celebrate Christmas because of this humble gift given by a woman half way around the globe.

I have to shake my head and wonder how miracles like this happen.  This money in our paypal account, it is hope and it is life.  Money is only worth having when it is used to glorify the King.  Money only gives life when it is given away.  And THE miracle Himself breathes into me tonight.  His hand is on them, these beautiful people who have given everything to welcome the orphans into their home.  These people who hold my heart even though I’ve never held their hands.

I don’t have words of ‘thank you’ for this gift-giver who in faith sends money to a little blogger’s paypal account.  There is no word big enough, no word meaningful enough.  Thank you just won’t do.  Generosity is a deep, cleansing river and when it flows freely, it is life itself.  Tonight, she is gift-giver and life-giver because hope is life and a simple gift can be the very light someone so desperately needed.

There’s no snow here yet, but it’s beginning to feel a whole lot like that miraculous Christmastime.  His gifts are everywhere, friends.

I think about the baby in the lowly stable, that humble flesh-Gift.  Christ Himself, the Light of the world.  The true Christmas gift so pure, so beautiful.  Yet, there He was birthed, amidst the hay and animal smells.  Born of a humble servant girl, visited by shepherds.  King of kings and Lord of lords, Immanuel – born right to us there in those dirty surroundings.  But that’s Yahweh.  He gives Himself to us in the most unimaginable ways because He is the backwards gospel.  The last shall be first and the first shall be last.

Blessed are the humble.

And blessed are the gift givers.

Because we are first blessed by the Gift Himself.

He gave so we may give, friends.  Give our love, give our grace, give our money, give our time, give our talents, give our everything for Him and for others.  Give in the dark places too. Yes, it’s wildly backwards.  When the world says hold white-knuckle to your stuff and yourself, Christ says give it ALL away.  Yes, give everything, even your very life.  Give it all away and we will find the greatest Gift.  We will find Him and we will find Life.

Live generously.  The Word says it plain and clear:

“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”

When we are open to others, we open the gate wide to God’s miracles. 

And after this post is written and published – another life-giver comes to us after church and hands us an envelop for our friends in Uganda.  Enough money to bless them with sheets, blankets, new school supplies, special presents for Christmas – all this and more.  The tears flow again.

And AGAIN at night a friend from long ago calls unexpectantly.  He wants to bless NACHU too.  The gifts just keep coming, who am I that I am witness to such miracles?  This is the river of generosity and it’s wild, friends.  I giggle with absolute joy and awe at the purity of Christmas loved spilled from one continent to another.

These givers, they inspire me to do more.  To be more.  To trust more.  This Christmas, I want to walk with my heart ripped right open for the things of Immanuel, God with us.  Flesh of our flesh – He was here.  If you believe it, you understand what I mean.  If you don’t yet believe it, I pray you one day will.  He was the greatest Gift and we are called to be again that gift to others.  I want my eyes lifted to the heavens and my head humbled down low to see the smallest of gifts and the biggest of triumphs.  To be witness to Christmas miracles, all around. 

Our dearest friends will celebrate Christmas with orphaned children next week because open people pour their heart upon strangers in the middle of Uganda.

If this doesn’t bring us to tears, I don’t know what will.

Generosity like this is wild, crazy, beautiful hope.  And we are all invited on the journey – who can you pour upon this season?  Who patiently and humbly awaits your gift?

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