Wednesday, December 28, 2011

'I can't even begin to describe the great joy that I felt'

Newcastle, Oklahoma:

I just discovered the Christmas Jar book and message last month.  I looked forward to starting a jar for next year but didn't plan on doing one this year since there was so little time before Christmas.  As Christmas drew near I learned about a family in our church that was struggling financially.  The father had been off work due to surgery earlier in the year and I heard they were going to sell their own plasma to earn the money to buy Christmas presents for their children.  The plasma donations didn't go as well as planned and by Christmas Eve they had just barely managed to buy presents for their three children.  They had spent every penny they had other than what was needed to pay their mortgage, electric and other bills.  On Christmas Eve I learned that someone had hacked into one of their accounts and stolen 125 dollars.  I pulled out the jar that I was saving for next year and started filling it.  All five of my children were home for Christmas Eve so all of us began digging change out of everywhere it could be found-purses, pockets, washing machines, cars.  My youngest daughter even emptied the contents of her piggy bank (she was saving for a new X-box).  The jar was only a little over half full but we rolled up a $100 bill and hid it in the change.  I tied a copy of the Christmas Jars book to the jar with red ribbon and a big bow and we jumped in the car to deliver it.  We had so much fun!   It was such a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas Eve as a family.  I have loved the Christmas jar idea since I first heard of it and was excited to be a part of it, but even I was surprised by how strong the Spirit was as we drove home that evening.  The next morning at church the father of this family wept as he told about the gift they had been given and how much it meant to his family.  I wept too.  After church he told me that he knew that I was the one who had left the jar.  I guess telling everyone I knew about this amazing new author I discovered and reading "Penny's Christmas Jars Miracle" to the children at church last Sunday gave me away.  I didn't give the jar away for recognition and fully intended to remain anonymous, but I can't even begin to describe the great joy that I felt as this humble father wept and thanked me for the love and kindness that I had shown his family.  I didn't need to open a single present or eat a single Christmas cookie-the joy I felt in that moment was more than enough.  It was the true spirit of Christmas.  I am already looking forward to next year - Maybe Christmas in July?  :)

No comments:

Post a Comment