MyLifeUncommon

MyLifeUncommon

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Christmas Child

 
The courtyard at church is filled with activities, information and ways to make a difference. One tradition we always do around this time of year is Operation Christmas Child. You know, the red and green boxes that you fill with toys and crayons and socks. The first time, we filled the stuff from the dollar spot at Target or Dollar Tree. It didn't cost much and it didn't take much effort but we knew we were doing the right thing. 
Filled with goodies we dropped it off at church and knew it was shipped somewhere around the world. 

Really, we have always done it because it's fun. Period. Not much more thought went into it. 
Just something nice to do.

See our tradition is, every family member gets a box to fill up. Last year, we began to be a bit more purposeful in our giving. I made a box for a 10-14 year old boy. I bought a deflated soccer ball and a pump and placed it in the box with other items like pencils with a sharpener, toiletries and necessities. We registered our boxes online and dropped them off at church (if you do it that way you can track your box to see where it goes). Done. It felt good but, it was just a box. Right?
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Today, like we always do the first week of November, we picked up our boxes in the church courtyard. This year I grabbed 6.

Elliot, Lily and I decided to find a spot on the wet grass while we waited for everyone to come from the different places on campus. While we listen to the live concert outside the coffee shop, we fold the boxes.
Yana strolls up and with a curious face looks at what we are doing. Before I can explain what these strange shoe boxes are or what we are planning to do with them...she says "I know that" in her deep Ukrainian accent.
We all look up at her from our sitting position. "I got that box" she says so matter of fact.
"You've seen theses boxes before?"
Just then Alex comes to meet us... but he's not looking at us. He is staring at the 3 boxes that we have already folded that lay in the grass. 

He doesn't say anything, but instead tries to remember a memory.
He starts talking. I have learned that when Alex starts to talk about the past, I shut up and let him run with the line.
"I never got presents, never got anything for my birthday, for nothing. But I got this box when I was little...7?" "Yana too."

Then it hit me. It is so much more than something fun, or the "right" thing to do. Alex remembered it was a family from Germany that gave him the box. He remembered what was in it. Last year, Alex and Yana were the kids that could have received the box, this year they are the ones making them for others.


Alex smiled his handsome smile and Yana grabbed as many boxes as she could carry and we all walked to the car as a family.


A family in Germany went to the store. They filled a shoe-box. They filled a box with necessities, and toys. They prayed for a child. 
The box was sent to a small child in Ukraine. A small seven-year-old Ukrainian orphan received the box. Received the prayers. Received the blessings. 
That child is now my child. How thankful I am for that family that loved my child, before I knew him. How thankful I am that they gave him his first and only gift he ever received as a young boy.

I don't know what that family prayed for, but I do know that the child is no longer an orphan. I know that he will now be filling a box of his own. I know that he will be thinking carefully what he places in his box. I know he will send a box to a child somewhere around the world. 

Maybe these shoe boxes we fill today will go to an orphan. Maybe the child in the orphanage that receives our box has a family ready to choose them too. 
God has a plan for each box, for each of his children. Blessing the hands that grab their first and possibly only gift. 
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 5:3-10

Something that I thought was "just a box" has become so much more. A lighthearted tradition transformed. Now seeing the power that a single box can bring gives this tradition more meaning.
http://www.samaritanspurse.org/

x

13 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post--I actually just saw their "informercial" this morning when I was up early. We always do toys for tots, and donate new coats to a local charity, but we will add this for this year.

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  2. It will be wonderful to see what Yana and Alex choose for their boxes.

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    1. Could you post about that? Would love to hear, too!!

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    2. I actually took pictures but lost my phone so...I just have to write it. Alex deflated a nice quality soccer ball and pump, packed super hero band aids, soap and plastic cover to put it in, a camo shirt so it would hide dirt, tooth brush with paste and case to put them in, color pencils with erasers attached and a sharpener... there was some other things too but I can't remember :)
      Yana packed Uno and a jump rope instead of a soccer ball
      Elliot packed a baby doll with dark skin and most of the items listed above
      Lily packed a jump rope and a small stuffed animals and all the things listed.
      I love there giving hearts.

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  3. I love this post. I have done these boxes but hearing that Alex and Yana received boxes and how they remember what they received is amazing!

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    1. Isn't it. So cool how God works through people.

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  4. Thank you for this! We do this every year too, and now it has a very special meaning. You brought me to tears(as you always do!) You are one special lady Kimmy Klimas!

    XO

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  5. What a beautiful full circle! Like Linda, I want to see what goes into their boxes this year.

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    1. Thank you Kate. I actually took pictures but lost my phone so...I just have to write it. Alex deflated a nice quality soccer ball and pump, packed super hero band aids, soap and plastic cover to put it in, a camo shirt so it would hide dirt, tooth brush with paste and case to put them in, color pencils with erasers attached and a sharpener...
      Yana packed Uno and a jump rope instead of a soccer ball
      Elliot packed a baby doll with dark skin and most of the items listed above
      Lily packed a jump rope and a small stuffed animals and all the things listed.

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  6. My sons Sergei and Maxim remembered getting a box, too. Christmas was such a huge thing because they got a bit of candy and a few little gifts. The irony is that now they are in the "land of plenty", not even plenty is as satisfying and joy-producing, I don't think. They are both grateful, but they seem to remember those little pleasures with such fondness.

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    Replies
    1. I feel the same way For some reason, the complain about the things is so much easier than finding joy in the little things.

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