Friday, December 12, 2014

All I Want for Christmas

At Teijas, heaps of presents (5300318715)
Perhaps of all the people in my life, my Mother-in-law knows my little quirks the best.  I say this based on this evidence: she did not bother asking what I want for Christmas.  Everyone else still held on to a smidgen of hope that I might be able to come up with some useful suggestion.  They are all doomed to disappointment.  I'm hopelessly unable to think of anything I want or need.

I'm not trying to be difficult, it's just that I'm a little ashamed to ask for anything else!  I have a wealth of spiritual blessings: redemption, grace, a Savior, hope, confidence and the Holy Spirit to name a few.  A positively embarrassing wealth of relational blessings like wonderful parents, in-laws, great kids, a wonderful hubby, a few beloved forever friends and a fabulous church.  I could go on for an hour about the physical blessings (answers to prayers) we have a car, a place to live, a loving-his-work Dad and a stay-at-home mom and (answers to prayers prayed in desperation) a beloved relative responding to chemo. 

I bet if you started tacking things up, you'd have a long list of gifts too: people you love, blessings in Christ and everything from your daily bread to a warm soft place to sleep. But despite my long list of blessings, there is one more thing I want. It's nothing I'll find under the tree or anything Santa can help with; I'm going to have to ask God.
These last few months God has sent fabulous people into our lives and into our church.  People who hadn't really learned much about Jesus before.  People who wanted nothing more than to listen to His word, obey his commands and love God with all their hearts.  It has been my great pleasure to spend time with them, hear their stories, and introduce them to my Savior.

I have prayed for them and with them. I've loved them, studied with them, and dived deeply back into things I haven't studied for years.  (The issue of Catholic saints/statues did not come up often in my corner of Asia). I have walked dogs, babysat, had dinner, got a cooking lesson and a dozen other delightful make-a-new-friend activities.   And I've learned to embrace the  wonder of the co-workers God has given me here and their concern for the lost. 

They have made me feel at home when I was homesick (sometime catch me in a happy mood and I'll tell you all the ways that the folk cultures of Mexico and Asia are similar!).  They lifted me up when I was down in the depths of culture shock.  They demanded my attention when I was gloomily self-absorbed.  Most of all though God reminded me through them that the command "Go into all the world" means in truth all the world - not just the exotic and far away, but the tiny little mountain towns as well. 

The people that God sent, the work he gave me to do, has been such a joy to me. New technology comes and goes; books get read and toys get broken.  But the gift of a seeker...priceless.

So if I am going to be brave, if I am going to come boldly before his throne requesting a present this Christmas, I'd ask for more open ears and open hearts. I want more work to do.

If you were considering asking for something else, a new job, a new knee, new friends or new habits, I don't want to dissuade you.  It might be just the thing you need.  But since I know Santa is a fraud and God is good everyday, this Christmas I want the priceless gift of sisters and seekers instead. 

Leave me a comment and let me know both about the blessings you have and the blessings you long for!


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