Last week some homeschool friends of mine and I, along with our kids, headed out to Christmas carol a few shut ins from our church. One of us had mapped the route, one of us had baked a few dozen cookies and one of us had chosen three familiar carols that our kids would know. We loaded up in two cars, drove into the country and there began our Christmas caroling adventure. (BTW, an adventure is anytime you have to turn around more than once because you aren't sure where you're going!)
Did you know that lonely has a face? Did you know that it knows no season? As we went from house to house I was so touched by the gratitude each of these senior citizens had for such a small...very small act of kindness. Of course they were touched to see the children. Of course it was nice to have some company for the few minutes that we were there. Of course they enjoyed the slightly too high key picked for singing Silent Night and the too low key picked for Away in a Manger....according to one lady the kids sounded better than what she hears on TV (made me laugh) then of course she retracted her statement saying she wasn't talking about our church television broadcast (I was cracking up!)
But what wasn't so expected were the tears that flowed freely down one particular shut-ins face. It nearly broke my heart. As we sang, she cried. When we finished she invited us in...and oh, how I wish we could have spend an afternoon visiting. But we were on a schedule and there wasn't time to make a day of it. Instead we all hugged her...and she hugged back...tighter...because...
Hugs don't come as often when you're stuck in your house.
My kids learned some valuable lessons that day that we discussed later as we gathered around the table that night:
1. We are grateful for the ability to get out and fellowship with other believers...especially this time of year.
2. There are things that we can do to minister to these beautiful people in their time of home boundness. We started thinking and making a list of things that even little kids can do.
3. We are going to make it a point to visit these sweet people more often this next year. We learned that loneliness doesn't know a season and that missing someone or being sick or just growing old is hard on person.
4. We learned that God can use little children to minister.
5. We learned that it doesn't take much money, time or effort to brightens someone's day.
6. We learned just how much a hug means to someone who hasn't see another person in a week.
We all learned something...even me.