Spreading Some Love
“Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough. Money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So spread your love everywhere you go.” –Blessed Mother Teresa
Among the families in our MARCH group, we have it pretty good. As far as material comforts go, we are not lacking. Food, clothing, shelter, warmth, toys, and books are plentiful for us. As Christians, we are called to reach out to others who may not be as materially blessed. And so again we chose to share our ‘plenty’ with the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter.
During earlier visits to the shelter, our own children were disquieted by the number of children living there. Struck to the core, they embraced the idea of giving gift bags to the shelter’s children. An inspired idea of one of our moms, the sturdy “Sweet Dreams” bags were stuffed with a fleece blanket, a wrapped toy, a tactile “fidget” toy, a snack pack of homemade cookies and cocoa mix, a book and a lovable teddy bear. As our kids helped in the packing of the bags, it was evident that they could well imagine having to ‘go without’ on Christmas. Their feeling of gratefulness alone was worth the effort!
Within the shelter, we commandeered a few tables for Christmas crafts with the children there, while they listened to a story and sang a few favorite carols. We shared some food, then distributed the Sweet Dreams bags. Interestingly, most of the recipients took their bag to their room, unwrapping it in their own space, and returned with big smiles and some clutching their new teddy bear. The simple craft, involving Christmas-y foam cutouts and stickers, was well-received! (No photos of our jolly time due to privacy issues, of course!) It was time to bid goodbye one short hour later, but hopefully the warm memory of the merry feelings lasted a lot longer, for both our own children and the children of the shelter.
Our love “is not to be mere words or mere talk, but something real and active; only by this can we be certain that we are children of the truth.” [John 3:18-19]