Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Cheerleading

God loves you just the way you are,
but he loves you too much to let you stay that way.
I opened Patrick Madrid’s new book, Life Lessons, last night and read the above words.  It reminded me again of recent events in my life:  my efforts and what God does with them.
Today, Christmas Day, I attended mass and had brunch with a dear friend.  Later, it was my plan to go home and cook dinner for myself and R, the man who runs the 7-11 store down the block.  On Christmas Day R works a 36-hour shift, giving his employees a paid day off to spend with their families.  Or at least he did in prior years, but this year was different.
The employees told me how R’s father was in the hospital, very seriously ill, yet R still planned to work Christmas Day to give his employees the time off --- but this year they wouldn’t hear of it.  They told him THEY would manage the store Christmas Day, and he should use the time to be with his father.  This was their Christmas gift to him, for the good man he is.
If you’ve been reading these posts, you’ve noticed a lot of stuff like that of late, stories of the many good people in my life, people I call friends.  And once again I am humbled by their acts of love.
I did make the Christmas Dinner as I planned, but shared it with Rick and Shirley at the store, instead of R.  Before I had left of Christmas Morning mass, I had even dropped off a prepared lunch for Shirley, not knowing she would be in the store all day and into the evening. When I saw the love of these beautiful people, dinner was the least I could do in some small way to salute and encourage their efforts. 
Sometimes it seems as if I don’t do much good in this world, as I become more aware of all the truly good people around me.  And maybe I can’t do much, but perhaps I CAN encourage these others to do more, to act as their cheerleader.  Perhaps this is God’s way of telling me He loves me just the way I am, even as through others’ actions He encourages me to do more.  Meanwhile, He trusts me with the little things, like cheerleading.
We can’t all do the really big stuff as He did, or sometimes even think of ways of going out of our way to love our neighbor, as the 7-11 employees did, but today of all days we can remember this important point:  even He started small.
He gives us hope.

No comments:

Post a Comment