Bicycles and Blessings

I think I have shared in past blogs that I have a gang of friends, “the rebel girls” who have stayed close since high school. Every year at Christmas, we gather together to share a meal, laugh too much and tell way too many ” back in the day” stories. We also invariably have a raucous competition over white elephant gifts, which can be rather disconcerting 😉 for the one who gets theirs stolen….

This year one of the gals suggested we do something different. Instead of giving gifts to each other, why not, as a group, give to others? It was a great idea and well received. So this afternoon, we caravanned over to a local charity pick up spot and loaded cars and trucks for delivery of Christmas presents to needy families. We were split up in groups of 2, each couple given stacks of presents, cookies and wrapping paper to deliver. I have a big old Suburban, so my friend “Amy” and I got bags and bike deliveries.

At first, we were both a little trepidatious, as we went into some tough areas that we had never seen in our county and were certainly not familiar with. On our second delivery, we came to a home in a basement apartment and knocked. A very petite young woman came to the door, saw us and the box of cookies we were holding and motioned us in. We introduced ourselves and very shortly realized she had no idea what we were saying. She called a name and a sweet-faced boy in a red, “Jesus Rocks” t-shirt came to the door. A pair of gentle chocolate-brown eyes met us…Friendly and no more than 8 or 9 year’s old, the youngster was clearly mom’s helper. He maturely took control of the situation and translated our English to his mother. She thought we were only bringing cookies, but when we explained we had Christmas gifts for the children, her smile turned into a look of relief and joy.

We were in the midst of delivering a large bag of presents when a tiny little girl, no bigger than a minute, peeked from around the corner, curious to the strangers at the door. While she was eyeing the big bag with anticipation, we wheeled in a boys dirt bike and helmet. The mother squealed with delight as we all watched the boy’s eyes grow wide with amazement! A rapid fire bit of Spanish erupted in the kitchen as the excitement over took the family. I don’t know who was happier, the children for receiving the presents, or Amy and I for being able to deliver them.

The mama and the boy hugged and then she rocketed into Amy’s arms for another hug, and then turned to me with a big-hearted bear hug too.

“Gracias, thank you, Que Dios le bendiga” she exclaimed.

I smiled at her and quizzically turned to the boy… Ah, now I could see where her son got those gentle brown eyes….

“My mama says, thank you and God bless you, miss,” the young boy explained, still smiling from ear to ear. He gave us a little hug too. Both Amy and I got misty-eyed and as we turned to leave, he said, “Merry Christmas, thank you!” and he and his little sister blew us a kiss as we walked out the door.

“Merry Christmas to you too! ” We called back.

We had many more deliveries today; we had the pleasure and honour to see the parent’s thankful faces and the darling smiles of many boys and girls as they received their bicycles and bags of presents.

At the end of our deliveries, Amy and I met back up with our other friends to have a meal and chat. Sharing a different kind of story now with each other, we all agreed what a most excellent time it was. Pondering over the events of the day, I thought about all the hands and hearts that had to come together to make sure those gifts were available for the families. Scripture tells us that God holds man’s hearts in His hands; He clearly prodded folks to donate, organize, coordinate, and volunteer…indeed a whole army of people to come together for the good of others. Did God, through the actions of others, help those families?

Undoubtedly yes, but it was us, “the rebel girls” who were really blessed…as we were allowed to serve others for Him…and that is the greatest gift of all.

Matthew 25:40

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25:40

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