Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What's in a Box?

I had the most profound Christmas experience this morning; my family delivered Red Ribbon Christmas Outreach Boxes for the Kokomo Rescue Mission.

Please hear no self-promotion in this whatsoever. My hat is off to the staff of the KRM and the TONS of volunteers that it takes to make this happen.

It's so simple: drive your car to get some directions, then take some boxes to people in need. It is so much more profound than that simplicity implies.

There must have been 300-400 people in a building donated by General Motors. I loved it--300-400 people got out of bed at 6am, went out in the freezing cold to do this. (I'm sure some volunteers were going much earlier!)

A few simple directions were given from a few rungs up on ladder in the middle of the industrial gray room. Then we all sang one simple chorus each of Come All Ye Faithful and Joy to the World.

I have to confess I was fighting back the emotion as these 300+ Carhardt-wearing people loudly sang in this echoing block building. They were the "faithful" who had come. They were about to load "Joy" into pickup trucks and minivans. Yes, I cried a little. If only I were man enough to cry as much as my soul wanted to.

Our four stops on Kokomo's north end weren't warm exchanges where recipients cried and asked us to pray for them. They were a little awkward. We awakened a few--literally wiping cobwebs from their eyes as they opened the door.

They appreciated our visit but didn't really want to have a chat with people they'd never met; people who only knew of them, that they were in need. I would probably feel the same way. And their reaction is not what this is about anyway.

I was thankful to have had the means to fix the transmission in our minivan so we could haul four boxes. I was thankful that Sandra had challenged us to do this as a family. I was thankful that Meghan and Slater willingly came with us. I was thankful to sing of faith and joy with people I didn't know (and some I did). I was thankful that a Child in a food trough still spurs people to make a difference in the lives of people they do not know.

Merry Christmas, friends...and those whom I don't yet know.