Two thousand twenty when you write it out like that seems so much bigger than 2020! You can almost hear the collective sigh of relief that the holidays are over and a new year has begun. Starting out new holds so much promise and then the resolutions begin. We all have them and, for some, it brings change; for others, the status quo remains.
I just finished reading a book called Gideon’s Gift by Karen Kingsbury. It’s the story of a young girl with leukemia and a homeless man named Earl. Their lives intertwined by accident, and they ended up helping save each other. Gideon, an eight-year-old girl, met Earl at a mission and, after seeing how lost, alone, and miserable he was, Gideon reached out to him only to be rudely rebuffed. She tried again and was told in no uncertain terms to leave him alone. Gideon decided that what Earl needed was a Christmas miracle and prayed for him to believe. Gideon herself needed a miracle of a bone marrow transplant which her parents could not afford. Gideon decided that she wanted to give Earl a Christmas gift. She looked in a second-hand store for just the right thing for Earl and found a pair of red gloves. These just happened to be the same special gloves that had been stolen from Earl. Earl’s family had been killed in a car accident, and they were the only thing he had left to remember them. He could not believe that she would have found these gloves on her own; it had to be a miracle from God! Earl went to find Gideon, only to find her near death. With the settlement Earl got from the accident, he provided the money for Gideon’s bone marrow transplant. Two Christmas miracles happened because one little girl reached out to help a stranger who had lost his way.
This story inspired me to look beyond the appearance or circumstance of a person who may be different from me. Everyone has a story, and we all in our own ways are a lot like Earl. We may have good jobs and a place to hang our hat, but many of us can be just as lost and lonely as Earl. Christmas may be over, but the miracle of that baby in the manger and the message of his love is everlasting.
I pray that we all can be a little more kind and share his love whenever we get an opportunity. As Jesus said in Matthew 25, “When you have done it to the least of these, you have done it unto me.” Who knows: we may even be entertaining angels unaware. (Hebrews 13:2)