Special gift not hard to give
Dec. 24, 2001
I am a fortunate man.
I know my savior personally. I have a wife and children who love me. Both of my parents are living and I am happy with my life.
Even when I mess up, it just seems that God bends down and touches things and blesses me anyway.
Tonight I will sit in front of the family Christmas tree with my family around me and think about the blessings that I have. I will ponder about how the Creator himself chose to come to earth as his own Son so that he could be brutally killed for the sins I had yet to commit.
But somewhere there will be a mother and father who will have no son or daughter to hold.
There will be a child whose only Christmas wish to Santa Claus is that his father or mother would be there for him.
But that won't be. Maybe in eternity, but not now.
They were taken away from them on Sept. 11. At that point, it seemed that their Christmas was ruined months before the occasion.
Those killed in the terrorist attacks on that fateful day aren't the only ones who lost their lives in senseless acts over the course of the year.
We do live in a confusing and crazy world my friends. Very confusing. Very crazy.
I know of families who don't even know where their children are. Of children who cry themselves to sleep at night because their mother or father left and have never come home.
Around you, in your Church, in your neighborhood, or perhaps in your home, you know of someone who has been hurt so deep, that it seems the wounds will never heal.
I was in the mall this weekend, helping wrap gifts and also doing a little shopping.
I saw joy everywhere. And that was good. People were buying gifts for each other looking for that special gift for someone special. All of those things are good. I do them myself.
But the true nature of giving in its rawest form is helping someone out when they don't expect it, and then not even letting them know you did it.
The Bible talks clearly about giving to others without expecting things in return and then not seeking any glory for the act. Some will receive their rewards on Earth, and others will get theirs in Heaven.
If you are really looking for someone to help and a life to touch, you likely will not have to look far.
Studies will tell you that people sometimes find themselves more depressed during this time of the year than any other time.
Christmas, basically, just seems to magnify loneliness. Sometimes being lonely means being alone. But some people are lonely in a crowded room. Due to family tiffs or words said long ago, feelings have been so hurt that conversations between relatives can't even be had.
That is so sad.
If you want to give a big gift, go and apologize to someone today. Go tell them they are forgiven, or even better yet, ask for forgiveness.
But I didn't do anything wrong you say. Maybe not. But neither did Jesus.
But that didn't stop him from loving us and dying for us and leaving his home in the most amazing place we can imagine Heaven to come and do the unthinkable for us.
There will be empty seats around many dining room tables on this Christmas. Some will be empty because loved ones have died. Others will be empty because tongues have run wild, tempers have crossed over the edge and pride has become so strong that love cannot grow.
What happened on Sep. 11 was unthinkable, but to think of the lives that have been shattered because of a stray word and hurt feelings, well that's just sad.
Reach out this Christmas and take a hand that you haven't held in a long, long time and let them now that the future is now and the past is gone.
May God bless and a Merry Christmas to all.
Austin Bishop is Regional Sports Director of the East Mississippi Group and oversees the direction of four sports departments, including The Meridian Star. You can e-mail him at abishop@themeridianstar or reach him by phone weekday mornings at 693-1551, ext. 3234.