Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men
Like many of you, I have a tendency to scroll through the pages on my phone halfheartedly looking at what catches my eye. Yesterday I came across a quote that I initially didn’t think too much about. It read: “Love the people God gave you because one day He will need them back”. Eventually the gravity of this quote got through. Let’s face it, some of the people God gives us are easier to love than others, but one day they’ll pass from this life having been touched one way or another for having known us.
I can’t help but share the story of a man God “needs back”. I learned of him in a message my sister sent about the shelter she and her fellow employees adopted for Christmas. Her message read: “One of the tenants has cancer and is getting worse. He is terrified to die alone, and the assisted living facilities don’t have an opening. The shelter tenants agreed to care for him so he could stay. They don’t have money and usually check the dumpsters for treasures they can gift each other at Christmas”.
The Gospel message of “peace and good will toward men” comes alive for us through this story. The love and compassion these tenants offer a dying man far exceed any gift they could find in a dumpster or department store.
Love begets love. A Lazarus lay dying on the doorstep of this shelter but instead of stepping over him he is being gathered in with love and cared for by his own roommates and a group of generous employees who refuse to look the other way.
On Christmas morning 24 adults, one dying man and one developmentally disabled 13-year old will awaken to a shelter brimming with Christmas gifts and the prayers of those of us who are blessed to be gifted with this true meaning of Christmas story.