Spotting Jesus: Giving in Secret

Today I spotted Jesus in the faces of my girls as we delivered presents for other children.

A few days ago we received gifts to deliver to needy families about an hour from Kosice, in a couple of villages in Eastern Slovakia.  We didn’t know the families the presents are going to – we only know that they have recently been rescued from trafficking situations.  Neither did we know what we would find when we took these gifts – we only had names and phone numbers of social workers.  I hoped we might get to meet these families face to face, to wish them a Blessed Christmas.

In this hope, we loaded up the girls and headed out for the villages.  They were not excited about leaving the apartment on a cold, wet day, and they were only somewhat mollified to learn that we might be able to meet the children who’d receive these gifts.

The day was cloudy and foggy, so it wasn’t a very scenic drive.  After an hour of “20 Questions,” singing Christmas songs and are-we-there-yets, we finally arrived at our destinations and made phone calls with our muddled Slovak.  We made the drop offs: quick meetings with busy social workers and secretaries who promised the gifts would be delivered in the next day or so.  So we wished them a Blessed Christmas and began the gray drive back to Kosice.

The girls were disappointed (maybe all of us were) that the deliveries seemed so mundane.  But as we turned around and headed for home, we began to reflect together on the journey those gifts took.  We’re not sure where they originated, but they made a long trek across Slovakia and changed hands several times before they made it to us.  They went through at least one more set of hands after ours, before they reached their destinations.  We can only imagine whose hands will finally hold these well-traveled gifts, what those hands have faced and what new future they might see.

And we realized that we were only one link in a chain that delivered a Christmas blessing to these families.  It wasn’t a flashy link, but it was our small part in the bigger picture.  Jesus reminds us that we give best when we give secretly (Matt. 6:2-4), and I enjoyed watching the girls’ faces as they “got” this concept.  So we sent these gifts along with our own secret blessings and prayers.

I pray that as you celebrate with your loved ones in the days ahead, that you would find Jesus in many ways – both expected and unexpected – and that we would all find ways to serve and love him with all our hearts!

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