Lifting a Heart
I looked from my window and feathers of snow had begun to float down to the arms of evergreen trees. I felt the excitement of what morning would be like, for it would soon be Christmas Day. I imagined Jesus coming to Earth so many years ago with angels praising God with, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.” …But then my heart began to feel a sense of heaviness. Where was this peace that the angels declared to me? My daddy would not be home for Christmas. He left us with a furnace that would hardly heat. I felt the cold air wrap me with a bitter chill. What would we do? I could see the gaze in my mother’s eyes, wondering how she could provide for her two little girls on fifty-seven dollars a week.
Christmas soon burst through the darkness, and I ran to our tree that was quickly wilting from its inevitable decay. Soon joining me was my sister. The aroma of coffee filled the house where mother had it brewing for some time. I saw two packages under the tree; a Barbie doll for my sister and one for me. My thoughts regressed to the Christmas mornings when all my family gathered at our tree with packages all around. As a young girl this Christmas morning, joy had melted into unexplainable pain.
Decades of years has come and gone since that Christmas, and I have come to be so much more appreciative of what my loving mother did for me. She never gave up, working almost six days a week to provide. I realize how the Almighty God made the way for us when there seemed to be no way. In retrospect, I have often wondered, “Where was the church when we were cold? Who brought a meal or asked if we needed help with anything. To my knowledge, there was not one who came to minister to us. Am I bitter? Do I have an unforgiving heart? Oh no, as the young girl that I was, I did not even realize that such a service should have been the obvious obedience to God. Were the people in our church just ignorant to what God had commanded or did “they just not want to get in the middle?” James 1:27 (Amp.) says, “External religious worship [religion as it is expressed in outward acts/ that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.” I was not an orphan in the sense that my dad and mother were deceased, but my dad had ceased from being provider and caregiver. My mother was not a widow in the sense that her husband had passed away, but he had passed into oblivion; no where to be found.
I believe that you sense my heart. Do we see the orphans, the widows, and/or the single moms and turn our backs upon them? We read in 1 John 3:17, “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” God commands us, “…Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land” (Deut. 15:11). We all have the responsibility to minister to the widows, orphans, and single moms. You may be widow, an orphan, or a single mom yourself. I even encourage you to reach out to someone less privileged than you by ministering to them. I know a widow woman who gives out of her own “need”. She says, “…But, I need a blessing.’ I am amazed how God always blesses her in return with increase beyond one’s imagination.
This is Christmas. God gave to us the greatest gift ever given. His name is Jesus. He has lifted our hearts in a “peace that passes all understanding” (Phil.4:7). Will you lift the heart of someone by blessing them with a gift? I have asked the Lord to minister through Bringing to Light to 14 of our single moms, and I know that He will.