Dec 13, 2011

Sue's Views

Tis The Season For Giving (Of Self)
By Sue Hulen

My son called me a couple of nights ago and we were discussing the holidays and days gone by from his childhood. He’d mentioned that he and his girlfriend are not buying nor accepting any Christmas gifts this year. When asked why he said that he and his girlfriend were taking the money they would normally spend on gifts and donate it to local Food Pantries. He lives in MI and they’ve been hit awfully hard with this Recession. So many, many people out of work, homeless, hungry and desperate. It’s heartbreaking. This Recession has hit everywhere and it’s hurting more and more people every day.

What they’ve decided to do is the right thing to do. Their decision has really put things into perspective. This is a time to show compassion and love to those less fortunate than ourselves. Being sensitive to the needs of others and offering what we can is a wonderful way to show we care. It’s not all about Santa Claus and the beautifully wrapped packages beneath the Christmas tree. It’s about giving…..of ourselves.

What it must mean to a family to have a meal of substance as opposed to whatever is left in their almost bare cupboards. It must mean so much. It’s not just the food they can receive from local food pantries and soup kitchens, but the knowing that others care enough to help them in their time of desperate need. To know that they are not forgotten or invisible. It must fill their hearts with such gratitude.

It saddens me to think that there are so many who are going hungry or need help with utility bills, gas for their vehicles or other needs that they, themselves, cannot meet. My heart breaks for them. A warm smile and a gift that shows you understand and want to help can do wonders for them in their day to day struggle to survive. They don’t need our judgments, they need our support.

If you can’t give money or food there are other ways to help the less fortunate in our own area…not just at Christmas time, but all the time. We can visit nursing homes and visit and read to the elderly, help with transportation to get people to the stores or wherever else they may need to go, take them to doctor appointments or to the pharmacy to pick-up prescriptions, do in-home visits, offering them clothes that you would normally take to Salvation Army or Good Will. Maybe even give them a gift certificate/card for a fast food restaurant or some other extra that they have been sacrificing due to the situation they’re in.
Connecting and showing compassion and kindness to others means so much. It lifts spirits and gives hope and promise to so many. It shines a light where there’s darkness, fear and dread much of the time. And let’s not forget to pray for those in need and ask that their needs be met. The simplest gestures of kindness can mean so much. To give anonymously is a beautiful gesture as well. So many in need right now feel embarrassed about asking or receiving assistance because so many have never been in this situation.
Sending Merry Christmas wishes to you all who celebrate this beautiful Season. Spread some joy and hope wherever you are. Sometimes just a smile can make someone’s day brighter.

Hebrews 13:16 ESV
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Happy giving!!
Sue Hulen


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