Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A funny thing happened on the way home from school today

Today I experienced Christmas. Don't hear me bragging about myself, because believe you me, I'm caught up in the commerical trappings just as much as the next American. It just so happened that this morning I must have had a moment of clarity in all of the Christmas crazy, because I got out of my holiday frenzy enough to help out a neighbor.

I know I've mentioned that Olivia's school experience is not exactly the same as most of our friends'. She attends a school where we are probably one of the more financially privileged. The other week the school sent home a flyer about Toys for Tots. I got excited because I love buying toys for others (especially since we are up to our eye balls in stuff around here) and when I read it more closely, I realized that it was explaining how we could be a recipient from Toys for Tots. Oh my, what a reality check. Some of O's classmates surely qualify.

There is a sweet little girl, Li'Asya, in O's class. She and her mom walk to and from school each day. Her mom and I usually arrive to pick up the girls at the same time each day. I've had a chance to small talk with her mom, Lee, for the past few months. I know that she just moved here from Cincinnati over the summer. She has custody of her nephew. And I'm not sure if there is a dad in the picture. I have enjoyed getting to know her.

Today it was 17 degrees out when I arrived to pick O up from school. Lee and Li'Asya were about to walk home and so I offered them a ride. They said sure and I drove them home. It was just a few blocks but I whine and complain when I have to walk to my garage when its 17 degrees just so that I can get in my luxury vehicle with a bun warming feature in my leather bucket seat. (Gag!) I dropped them off at a pretty shabby yet sweetly decorated home for the holiday. As they got out, Olivia screamed wildly out the window, "BYE, LI'ASYA!!!!!" My heart smiles that Olivia and Li'asya are friends. She mentions her nearly every day.

I thought of Jesus today. NOT because of my measly action of driving 3 blocks out of the way. But because I realized, once again, how the real meaning of Christmas is that a GOD of infinite power and love, humbled himself to a lowly state of becoming a human. But not even just a human, a human of poor and humble circumstance. He didn't live in a palace fit for royalty (which he certainly would have qualified for!) He didn't even live in a nice suburban home with a finished basement and a large yard. He probably lived in a shabby house, sweetly decorated for a holiday. He probably lived on a side of town that I would not in my normal life visit. He rode on a donkey, and NOT the XLE model, either. And my Jesus chose that situation.

I'm thankful that God gave me Lee and Li'asya today. I don't know why they walk to school every day. I don't know if they have a car and just choose to walk. To make assumptions would be judgemental and elitist of me. Instead, I'll just keep offering them rides and try to get to know them and love them. Because they are my neighbor. And THAT is the true meaning of Christmas.

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