Angel Tree Surprise
I absolutely love surprises—surprise birthday parties, surprise gifts, and even the charming “small world” run-ins and “God winks” for which we are all familiar. These types of surprises are all fun, but as I have entered my adult years, I have found that some of the most enjoyable surprises come in the form of the unexpected opportunities for me to serve, as God calls us to opportunities that may have been right before us in plain sight.
This Christmas season, my husband Clark and I have been particularly excited to adopt an Angel Tree family. Our daughter Maury Clark (4) is finally at the age that she is able to understand the concept of serving others and we have been looking forward to including her in the shopping experience. A few weeks ago, I was surprised to learn that the church still had roughly 50 families that needed adopting. Both my daughter and son attend Incarnation Academy and a thought occurred to me. Why not use my connection with Incarnation Academy families and present them with the opportunity to participate in the Angel Tree? I have seen recently that many Incarnation Academy families may not attend Church of the Incarnation (or any church services at all) but are thirsty to serve when called upon. In a turnaround of less than a week, the families of Incarnation Academy adopted more than 40 Angel Tree families. Many of these Incarnation Academy families are now planning to attend the Angel Tree Drop-off Party and my continued hope is that they are able to feel as if their efforts are a huge part of the success of this mission.
We have been taught that to whom much is given, from him much is expected. We give out of the gratitude for the blessings of this life because that is what God has called us to do. When we give (time, talent, and treasure) we grow closer to Christ, closer to each other, and share Christ’s love with others. This Christmas season, let us challenge each other to block out the “Christmas noise”—the sales, the commercials, the bad tasting egg nog—and instead focus on the opportunities for us to serve in new ways in the months ahead, because I promise if you stopped long enough to look, there is a new opportunity for you waiting in plain sight.