During this season of giving I found a story that I thought you might like.
There was once a beautiful, expensively dressed lady who complained to her psychiatrist that she felt that her whole life was empty; it had no meaning. So the doctor called over a woman who cleaned the office floors. Then he said to the rich lady, “I’m going to ask Mary here to tell you how she found happiness. All I want you to do is listen.”
So Mary put down her broom, sat down on a chair and told her story, “Well, my husband died of malaria and three months later my only son was killed in an automobile accident. I had nobody… I had nothing left. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I never smiled at anyone. I even thought of taking my own life. Then one evening a little kitten followed me home from work. Somehow I felt sorry for that kitten. It was cold outside, so I let the kitten in the house. I got it some milk, and it licked the plate clean. Then it purred and rubbed against my leg, and for the first time in months I smiled. Then I stopped to think: if helping a little kitten could make me smile, maybe doing something for people could make me happy. So the next day I baked some biscuits and took them to a neighbor who was sick in bed. Every day I tried to do something nice for someone. It made me so happy to see them happy. Today I don’t know of anybody who sleeps and eats better than I do. I’ve found happiness by giving it to others.” (Anonymous)
The holidays are approaching. Psychologists tell us that Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are the saddest time of the year for some people. Remembering great joy in years gone by now leads to great sadness for what no longer is. If you know someone who is trapped in this sadness, or maybe it’s you, I invite you to make yourself a promise: reach out to somebody else. As the old saying goes, “Happiness is the only thing you increase by giving it away.” And another good idea is to wrap it with a smile.
There will be lots of opportunities during the days to come to share with others. We will be setting up our Giving Tree soon. You have been asked to bring coats for those who don’t have one. The Stewardship Team will be asking you to fill out your pledge cards soon. Prayerfully consider all requests and be as generous as you are able.
May you feel God’s love surrounding you during this the blessed season.