bigstock-seasonal-people-happiness---53092858 croppedOn the day before the day before Christmas, it’s quite likely you have almost finished your to-do list. At least a good portion of it. There’s still food to cook and presents to wrap (maybe a few to buy). Or perhaps you’re helping with a church gathering or volunteering to stand beside a kettle ringing a bell. At this point, you may be exhausted with card sending, menu planning, finding the perfect gifts–and/or just life. It’s hard enough sometimes to get through a normal day with any energy to spare. But… and isn’t there always a but? I want to challenge you to add one more item to your list.

This year our family suffered a devastating loss and, in its aftermath, extended family and friends responded with an outpouring of love. Visits, phone calls, cards, and acts of kindness steadied us as we took our first, shaky steps toward a new normal. Many difficult days are behind us and, likely, many still lie ahead. But one thing is certain, without God’s grace and the ministry of His people we wouldn’t have made it through this far.

One of the most important things I’ve learned through our experience is that reaching out to people really matters. Christmas can be a difficult time of year, especially for those who have lost a loved one, suffered financial setbacks, or live alone. The elderly, the poor in spirit, the emotionally barren, the forgotten ones in our society.

Reaching Out Matters

My challenge to you–before you light the candles on your holiday table, wrap your final gift, or say your nightly prayers–is to reach out to someone in need of your encouragement. Drop them a card. Call them. Invite them to dinner or church. Or gift them with a plate of cookies or a basket of fruit and a moment of your time. If each of us will reach out to one other person, we will double the blessings that abound this Christmas because both the giver and the receiver are blessed.

I wish for you a doubly blessed Christmas.

~ Kathy Harris