She asks again, I have lost track of how many times, could I check to see if the mail has come?
She has learned that now is the season for Christmas catalogues.
When the mountain of pretty pictures of smiling children and shining toys finally arrives she glows and grins and pours over them, circling the items she likes, x-ing out the ones she doesn't.
And I have talked with her, and she knows Whose birthday we will be celebrating, and while at first I was torn about how to handle this I don't fuss and frustrate and squirm over her picking almost every gift in every catalogue to go on her "wish list" because I watch her close, and we talk long, and what is growing is her imagination, not a root of consumerism.
This is our first Christmas season as our own little Hurd. What precedents will be set?
And it presses on me, just like it did last season, that I want to give more than receive, and I want to meet true needs. There are many types of need, especially among the wealthy, and we are to encourage the family of believers daily, even more so during this season of celebrating that He did come, and lived and died for us as the greatest love gift ever given.
But what does that mean for us? What should it look like to celebrate this gift, celebrate HIM?
I wrestle as she rustles pages, happily humming her way through thousands of dollars worth of options.
But there is one she talks about most, one she knows her circling will mean something. Every year we give, and she plans and talks and we pray about where and how to meet some of these needs.
It is the one with a miserable faced little boy bearing a swollen belly full of biting worms. She has put big fat x marks over the horrible contaminates that lurk in the water so many children have no other option than to drink.
She wants to give everything, so aware of the need, she even circles the goat on the front cover.
I love her for her passionate outward expression of all that swells in my heart. I laugh(maybe sometimes a Sarah laugh?) because without divine intervention we could never provide even a tenth of the gifts she has circled.
And I question what I should buy for our home... do we really need salt and pepper shakers? When others don't even have clean water? Pillows to make the couch a more comfortable place to lounge?
And I think about Selah's proceeding step-parent adoption, and how the lawyers say it will cost a minimum of $2,500(the lowest quote I've received). I think of flatworms and cholera and list items on craigslist.
And I look at all I have and all I don't have. And the needs and the wants press harder and deeper. I feel overwhelmed. I want to cry.
So I cry out. To Him. My gloriously rich Father. There are no bottoms to His pockets.
And He speaks to me of giving generously and trusting Him for what I truly need. He speaks to me of being willing to give everything should He but ask. He speaks to me of being a wise steward with what I have. He speaks to me of Job, His extremely wealthy servant whom He called blameless and upright. He speaks to me of worry, and His love that meets needs deeper than I have eyes to see.
And He speaks to me the parable of the talents. And I admit that I am afraid, and I don't want to misuse what He's given me. I see what others have done and are doing and I don't know exactly what He has for me, what He has for my family. What do you do when each member of the family have different convictions? I don't want to force anything, that would surely be counterproductive. And I can not do nothing, I know, love, and serve Him to whom I must give an account. And the not knowing hurts and the needs are so real and I am not calloused to the starving bodies or starving souls. I don't know for sure how many talents He's given me but I am not going at once to invest it so I maybe I am not entrusted with five or two but maybe only one? I am overwhelmed with my weakness and this wealth He has placed in my hands.
He whispers so I won't be afraid. He draws me close as He gently, lovingly says it over and over.
"Don't bury it my love... don't bury it"