Saturday morning the youth from my church sang Christmas carols at the Swann Special Care Center, which is a residence hall and school for the severely handicapped. I decided to tag along and lend my voice for this worthy cause. It was beautiful, we had 2 groups of carolers, each with an accompanying violinist. Since I babysit the children of a teacher at the school, I had already visited the junior high class room once and somewhat knew what I was in for.
These residents, from children all the way to adults, may or may not have even known we were there. But we sang our hearts out, wishing them all a “Merry Christmas” and treating them with the dignity that they deserve as human beings. I was ok with being there and kept my composure…until I saw a very small infant, younger than James. I held the tears in, but my heart was so sorrowful for that child. I couldn’t wait to get back to my healthy, growing 9 month old so I could hold him and praise God for him.
This morning at church I couldn’t help but be in awe of the generosity of my brothers and sisters in Christ. A needy family came to our church in desperation. They are homeless and have almost nothing. Not only have we come together as a church family to provide temporary housing, but today we also brought wrapped presents for this family to open on Christmas morning. I knew there would be quite a few, but was astonished to find 45 Christmas presents sitting in the church office.
A family of die-hard Cubs fans in our church planned a little surprise for us this morning. Pastor Scott did a sermon about what Christmas meant to various people like Ceaser Agustus and the shepherds who came to see Jesus. To better provide a visual, various church members dressed up as these characters and took their positions as Scott talked about them. He brought the sermon full circle by describing what Christmas means to the average family today–enter stage left, the “Smith Family” which just happened to be played by yours truly as well as Toby and James.
The aforementioned Cubs fans told us in order to act out our part, Toby would stand beside James and I who were seated in a rocking chair by the Christmas tree. We would need to open a present as if it were Christmas morning and pretend to be excited about it. Little did we know that the “present” was a children’s book…about the Cubs! With all eyes on us, we had to keep smiling pretending to really enjoy this awful, terrible book as various people who know our loyalty to the Cardinals laughed and mouthed to the Cubs family “Did you do that to them? You are so cruel!“
I must admit that I’m a bit envious that they came up with such a great prank. It will take me awhile to come up with some kind of revenge. 🙂