Into the office, walked in this frail looking, frame of a man. He had two children on either side of him. His beautiful, yet weary looking wife walked behind. This is a young family of four – father, mother and two young children (7 and 2 years old). They had come to The Salvation Army to register for Christmas assistance.
The 32-year-old father, in between thoughtful pauses, proudly explained how he had been the family’s bread winner. He shared a few of his hopes and dreams. But now, his dreams and hopes were flickering away, like a dying flame. Sadly, the man was recently diagnosed with kidney failure. This is not how life should be. He should be able to work till retirement. He should be able to celebrate his children’s milestones – graduations, weddings, the birth of his grandchildren, and so forth. But this was not to be.
His wife listened intently. She then, shyly and softly, mentioned how she had struggled to find gainful employment. She desperately wanted to help ease her husband’s financial concerns. The little money she received for cleaning houses was not enough to sustain the family’s needs.
The Salvation Army employee, leaned forward and asked the husband, “What would you want for Christmas?” If I were the one asked that question, I would have said, “a Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks jersey, Coca-Cola collectibles, a Kobe Bryant jersey, or a Manchester United jersey.” But not this father. In his frail, broken voice he responds, “I do not need anything material. Nothing for me. Please just help my children.”
With a nod of affirmation, the worker turns to look at the wife. She asked the wife the same question. The wife’s eyes welled up; warm glittery tears flowed down her rosy cheeks. She reached for the Kleenex box and uttered, “I am praying that my husband doesn’t die.”
The husband looked at his wife, touched her cheek and said, “Please don’t cry, honey. It’s going to be OK.”
We do not know what the future holds for this father, but we know God holds the father’s future in His hands.
Here at The Salvation Army, we are working hard to ensure a blessed Christmas for this lovely family.
This Christmas, we are helping many other families such this beautiful family.
This Christmas, we are bringing sunshine to many a family’s cloudy condition.
This Christmas, we are bringing love to the unloved; and care to the lonely.
This Christmas, we are giving food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, and jobs to the jobless.
This Christmas, we are loving the least, supporting the last, and serving the lost.
This Christmas, we are responding to God’s call, to give a cup of cool water in His name.
This Christmas, we are putting a priceless smile on many children’s faces.
This Christmas, we are grateful to God, who has made us a conduit of His grace to the helpless, hopeless, and the hurting.
Will you join us?
Will you pray for us?
Will you donate to us?