December 18

Sunday

 

SIMPLE GIFTS FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT: THE GIFT OF LOVE

 

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem... behold, there came wise men from the east.... —Matthew 2:1

 

That December afternoon I found an excuse to drop by my friend Nancy’s office. As I said good-bye, I wrapped my arms around her in a firm hug and told her she was special. Although Nancy didn’t know it, I had just delivered her Christmas present: the first hug scheduled for secret delivery by our ladies’ Bible study group during the twelve days leading up to Christmas.

 

Nancy’s world had fallen apart following a divorce, and she was facing Christmas lost in rejection and pain. When she told me, “I feel so unloved,” I asked, “What makes you feel loved?” She answered quickly, “When someone hugs me, really holds me.”

 

And that’s why a hug sign-up sheet was passed around at our Bible study. Over the next twelve days, members of the group devised ways to give Nancy a hug a day. They jumped out of cars in the school carpool line, took food from our Christmas luncheon to her office, hand-delivered Christmas cards. On Christmas Eve, I clipped twelve paper dolls out of brightly colored wrapping paper, wrote a hugger’s name and the date of the hug on each, added a note explaining our gift, and then delivered it along with the final hug.

 

On Christmas Day Nancy called me, practically shouting with joy, “I had no idea what you all were up to! It’s the best gift I’ve ever received!”

 

Dear Lord, thank You for coming into our world as a tiny baby in the silence of the night to wrap us in the arms of Your love. —Karen Barber

 

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