Christmas time can be a very blessed time of year but also very challenging. There are gifts to get, parties to prepare, and families to host. Many of us can get wrapped up in our own self-absorbed lives and miss the point. I was reminded of this last night when looking at Facebook to wind down from a crazy week. There were two videos that made me think about where we are today.
In a department store, a woman was in line and noticed the cashier was having a hard time ringing up the lady ahead of her. He was very slow, did not really say much to the customer, and made a few mistakes along the way; so much so that the manager stayed close by his station. The lady being helped was not happy and expressed her frustration. “Is there something wrong with you? Are you new at this? Why are you working here if you can’t do your job correctly during the busiest time of the year?” The woman behind was shocked at the way this lady was talking to this young man. She saw the blank look on the young cashiers face and he started to tear up. The woman said “Maybe you should give him a break. He is clearly trying and may need extra time to get the hang of things. It’s Christmas time.” After this comment, the young cashier came over to the woman and gave her a hug. She didn’t know what to do or say. It was very awkward for her but she felt bad about how he was treated. He said “Thank you! My mom passed away this morning but I have to be at work. I have to make money for our family so we can stay in our home.” The woman was stunned and the lady in front of her turned many shades of red. This young man was not able to put himself together and headed to the back of the store. Why do we get so wrapped up in our own worlds that we miss the point?
The other story I saw was one ABC news covered. To say 8-year old Safyre Terry has been through a horrible year would be a gross understatement. This little girl is the only survivor of an arson fire of her home. Safyre’s father covered her for protection so I’m sure she was there when her father took his last breath. She was severely burned; so much so that her face is unrecognizable. On top of losing her family this year, Safyre spent most of her time recovering from many surgeries due to her burns. This little girl has many reasons to be angry, bitter, and depressed; but this is not the case for Safyre. Her Christmas wish this year was to get as many Christmas cards as possible from around the world. While most kids her age wish for material things, she wished for Christmas cheer and blessings. Little does she know she has blessed the world in return by showing God’s light.
So I sit here reflecting on these stories. Why is it that we are so wrapped up in our own lives and find ourselves like the lady in the first story? We roll our eyes while waiting in line and look around to spot the manager just so we can give them the “eye of shame”. We agree or even join in to the complaining conversation of the person next to us that can’t seem to hold their opinions about the horrible extra ten minutes of waiting time. We have to hear about tragic stories just to put ourselves in place. We miss the point.
In many of my counseling classes it was said “with every one bad experience there needs to be at least five good experiences to follow”. Think about it, if you have one bad experience during the day, how many more good experiences need to happen for you to say “that was a great day”? The point is God placed us on this earth for one reason; to build His kingdom. Our sole purpose is to show the light of Jesus. If we are the cause of the bad experience for someone, are we doing what we are commanded to do?
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16
We are blessed with friends, jobs, and money so we can make accountancies and relationships for the purpose of showing His light. We don’t need to be the blow horn guy on the corner screaming the gospel to show God’s love (a whole other blog); but we do need to show the light of Jesus. Safyre understands the purpose and reason of this verse. She was able to show the light of Jesus just with a Christmas wish that has inspired so many people around the world. It’s not her tragic story that shows the light of Jesus, but rather what she has done despite the tragedy and trials in her life. God has blessed all of us and we need to show that in our actions; even during the busiest time of the year.
Have a Merry Christmas and spread the light of Jesus for He is the reason we celebrate!