I spoke once at an event in Lawton, Oklahoma that brought business women together at no cost to them. The luncheon was meant to encourage them in their business and to appreciate the community they serve. They also gave a contribution to a nonprofit in their community. I was impressed by their mission of giving back.
As we entered the very festive ballroom with Christmas music being played I was immediately drawn into the spirit of Christmas. One of my favorite songs, “Silent Night”, was playing and I was struck once again with the lyrics.
All is calm
All is bright
Round yon virgin
Mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace
This is the story of why the song was written.
“On Christmas Eve in 1818, a blizzard stranded the tiny village of Ogledorf, nestled in the Austrian mountains. That same day the people of St. Nicholas’ church found their organ broken. So the priest and organist began composing a song that could be sung without an organ, yet beautiful enough to express their Christmas joy. All day and all night long they worked and at midnight the gentle carol ‘Silent Night’ was born. The pure clear tones echoed through the hills and the world has been captured by the beauty of that simple song ever since.”
In a very noisy world, I love sitting back and listening to this carol. It calms my heart, stills my soul and gives me hope.
It’s the message of a silent night over 2000 years that in some way still has the power to arrest my heart every Christmas season. The message that the angels announced on that quiet hillside where shepherds were watching their sheep. “Behold, we bring you tidings of great joy, for unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior”.
It was the silent night when God gave us His very best, His only son, to come and live with us. I still cannot comprehend the depth of Gods love for me in all of the Christmas seasons I have experienced. One truth that is renewed in my own heart each year is the gift that was given to me. Each year I receive this love gift with a grateful heart. I pray this gift impacts the way I live and the way I give.
The week during our time in Lawton, as we were waiting for our flight which was delayed for several hours I found an opportunity to give. There were two ladies in the airport cafe and as we had a conversation about their lives they told me their children would not experience Christmas this year. One was a mother of four children and the other a foster mother of two. Both single moms.
I was struck by the desperate and dire needs of these two mothers. They were not complaining. They were simply telling me their stories. As I listened I was prompted to help them have Christmas for their children. I went to the ATM but it was out of order! I tried to figure out how I could find some cash for them and my sister Fi suggested we use the cash from the book sales we had made at our speaking event. We counted the money and we’re thrilled we could give. I went back to the cafe and gave them the gift and watched as their countenance change when they realized their children can have Christmas after all.
The thrill of giving is an actual high. Something inside of me explodes whenever I give of myself either in deed, in word or financially. I feel alive whenever I give.
Giving is the very heart of God and I can only imagine how He felt on that silent night 2000 years ago. He knew His gift would change the course of humanity. He gave because He saw the desperate need of a world He created and loved. He knew His Son would be the answer to the needs and the cries of people, and so He gave.
May you discover the gift of Christmas this year and find ways to give to others.