There are so many ways to give this time of year. I've been wrapping gifts for my kids, buying stuff for friends and family. We're helping a single Mom from church buy gifts for her boys this year, the kids are collecting baby items for Lakeshore Pregnancy Center, we bought a few toys for a mom from Harbor House to give to her 1 year old son, we're helping stock the food pantry for families in Pullman, we brought food for our church's "meal deal". Lots of ways to help; lots of ways to give back; lots of ways to be a blessing to others.
And yet, as I scurry and hurry and buy and wrap, my heart is not as light as it used to be. There are a few gifts I SO YEARN to give and I can't.
Part of me is still in Ethiopia.
Sitting in a park with my son's mother.
Knowing she doesn't have much.
Knowing her daughter isn't in school.
Knowing food is hard to come by, not to mention clothes, shoes, medicines.
Chances are she isn't worried this Christmas about what to stuff in the stockings, or if she should prepare ham or turkey for Christmas dinner. She's not wondering what to give to her neice or father or cousin. She's not going to play Bingo or put a dollar in the kettle outside of the store. Her husband won't be building a fire on Christmas Eve and they won't gather around their Christmas Tree they cut down as a family.
Oh that I could send a few presents her way. Or better yet, invite her to sit at my table this Christmas. Oh that I could bless her just a fraction of the way she has blessed me. What a day that would be! The things we could talk about! Laugh about! Cry about! I'd love to hear what Meta was like as a baby. When he took his first steps. What he looked like with just a few baby teeth. I'd love to show her how joyful he is. How he loves his brother and sister. How well he's drawing, learning letters, singing songs, fitting in. How. Much. He. Is. Loved.
The thought of her leaves my heart aching. And the tears fall.
I know that the same God who looks down on me with love, is looking down on her. And so I continue to do as she asked me to ... when I pray for myself I pray for her as well. That she would be blessed. That she would be loved. That she would have her daily bread.
On days like this I give Felmata an extra kiss. I hold him a little longer. I recommit to teaching him as much as I can about Jesus, and continue to pray for his soul so that someday, we can all be reunited again. Because, for now, that's all I can do.
"He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; He will remove the disgrace of His people from all the earth" Isaiah 25:6-8