"Mommy, we have to get them this, they will LOVE it."
Two eager hands grabbed toys off the shelf and dumped them into our shopping cart. I resisted the urge to explain we had a budget, after all this was supposed to be about giving and I wanted him to be wholeheartedly involved. It warmed my heart to see him so animated about choosing gifts for little kids that may not get any this year. We had three big stockings to fill with toys and other more practical things like socks and warm shirts. On the way home, Thaddeus chatted excitedly about giving away toys that he didn't need anymore (which is a big step for him, my little hoarder). We talked about sharing Jesus tomorrow with the kids we were going to visit and how happy it would make them to receive the gifts.
Our church met bright and early on this Saturday morning, stockings in hand, and hearts ready to share. We unloaded in a soggy field, set up the Superstar Kids Club trailer and eagerly welcomed the kids that began to stream in. It was beautiful to watch the message of Jesus shared as arms hugged children starved for affection. Joel started a wrestling match and was soon buried three feet below a mass of delighted little boys. A young girl of 9, with chilly bare arms and sock-less feet stuffed into worn tennis shoes tugged my heart the hardest. It was then I wished I had brought more. We had already given away our stockings. Thaddeus had eagerly passed them out, his face alight with a newfound joy. He had watched in anticipation as each child opened their gifts. It didn't seem right for that little girl to return home still cold, still coatless. I had an extra sweater jacket in my van and I knew it would fit her. I only wish I could have given her more. She lingered for awhile, shyly thanking me and accepting my hugs with a need that left my heart broken but full.
My son's words from a couple nights ago now slip back into my thoughts.
As he was dropping a few coins in his gas tank (that's what little boys use for a piggy bank, don't ya know), he had said,
"I want to save all my money and give it to Jesus."
Who better to give it to than the One whom it belongs to, the One who can multiply it one hundred fold?
My Jesus, help me hold onto "things" less tightly, and open my hands without hesitation to give what you have so freely given me.