Tag Archives: generous

A Huge Dose of “Hope”

God’s Love Will Prevail

The news media keep flogging the darkness in our world. Cruelty and selfishness seem to be growing.  Wars just never seem to end. Hunger and poverty are not shrinking. In fact, with the population explosion in third world countries, it seems hunger and poverty are increasing. Sometimes it’s hard to hang onto my belief that we are slowly progressing as human beings towards a world of peace and love. I keep telling myself I cannot lose hope, for hope is essential for living.

Twice in the last two days, I have been reminded about the goodness in this world. Yesterday, my granddaughter and I went for lunch at the Galley Pub on Church Street in Pickering Village. As we were preparing to pay the bill, our waiter came to tell us that the young man sitting around the corner from us had already paid for our lunch. Of course, we thanked him. He smiled. I told him that his act was a sign that goodness and generosity was on the rise. My granddaughter and I left that restaurant with smiles on our faces, feeling loved. The sun seemed to be shining just a little bit brighter.

Today, while I was at the Arts Festival in Cobourg, I walked downtown for a snack and a cup of tea. I chose the “Buttermilk Café” on King Street. The friendly waitress suggested the chef’s special dessert, pumpkin cheesecake. It was scrumptious. I ate it slowly savoring every bite. Again, when I offered the waitress my credit card to pay my bill, she informed me that the two ladies that had been sitting across from me had already paid it. As I walked back to the church, my heart was lighter, my energy higher, my spirit flying.

Twice in two days, I have been the recipient of a random act of kindness. I have received a strong message. In my heart ,God is saying, “Don’t give up hope. In the midst of what seems like an epidemic of selfishness and greed, this country is rising up with love.”

There is a movement afoot. The general population is being infiltrated by people determined to live generosity and love. Hope abounds. Random acts of kindness and pay it forward choices can bring new life. I am truly grateful.

 

Would you choose to place your newborn child in a “manger” to sleep?

Logos of Christmas – The Manger

There was no room in the Bethlehem Inn, the Bible tells us. So, Jesus was born in a stable and his parents laid him in the manger – the place where the animals were fed. As a child on the farm, I knew that a manger had high sides just like a crib. Our stable/barn, warmed by the animals that were housed there, was quiet and peaceful especially at night. Filled with soft, sweet smelling straw, a manger didn’t seem like such a bad place. After all my dad kept our stable relatively clean, although there were often big spiders and tiny mice living there.

By the time I was ten, I had soaked in the idea that we needed to make room in our hearts for the baby Jesus. That didn’t seem very hard. I loved babies. Why wouldn’t we make room for Jesus? I understood him to be loving and fun. After all, he played with the children, which was unusual for a famous speaker and healer.

Today, I’m aware of the much deeper symbolism of that manger, and of being born in a stable. I see people on the city streets wearing several layers of clothes, carrying all their belongings in plastic bags, sleeping on hot air vents and under bridges. I know there is a second face to homelessness. Loss of the income of one or the other or both wage-earners, through layoffs, downsizing, or out-sourcing, means no money for heat, or hydro, or shelter. Without extended family to take them in, whole families become homeless.

Mary and Joseph had come to their home town and still, there were no family or friends to care for them. Even money couldn’t get them a room at the inn.

The Christmas manger calls us to step outside of our comfortable world and remember the hungry, the homeless, the refugees. Jesus didn’t begin life in the wealth and luxury that many of us have living in Canada. It wasn’t his parents’ choice that he would be born in a stable, I’m sure. And yet, the manger bed carries a stronger call to love and care for all people, than a fancy crib in the finest palace would. This Christmas, listen to God’s call. Be generous. There is endless need.  

 “While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:6-7)  NRSV