I watched a real time story on television where a local organization sponsored a Christmas shopping spree for underprivileged children at Wal-Mart. Each child was given an adult mentor and $100 with which to buy gifts for family and friends. The mentors were to guide the children in their selections.
The mentors were also told to see that each child bought something nice for herself/himself.
The children were smart shoppers. Their gift choices were wonderfully appropriate and dollar wise. I saw it on TV, the kids running up and down the aisles, excited, laughing, having fun. They chattered happily as they considered, compared, then chose their gifts. They had fun.....
.....it came time to buy something for themselves. Suddenly the children’s enthusiasm vanished. The mentors were put to the test. They urged the children to get themselves a gift, something they wanted or needed, something nice.
The children were hesitant, reluctant to spend on themselves. But finally, with their mentors’ encouragement, each child did select a personal gift. And having put that challenge behind them the childrens’ thoughts turned to once again to gift giving. Their joy returned. They were more than happy. They were satisfied. How wonderfully curious that even the poorest child finds greater joy in giving to others than in providing for self
There is a prayer parable here for those feeling small, inadequate, unworthy.
In it we are the children. Happy and eager to pray for others. Hesitant to pray for ourselves. But blessed when we do.
Prayer child, take the mentor’s advice to heart. Do something nice for yourself. Draw near to Jesus. And you will be blessed this Christmas.