Last Saturday, we at Casas went to Juarez to serve a Christmas meal to all the families whom we've built for in one colonia on the south side of town. To be honest, earlier in the day, I didn't want to go. I wanted to be selfish. I wanted to stay in my house with Jason and just be lazy with him. But, I work at Casas, and ministry is not a 9-5 job. And frankly, it didn't matter what I wanted to do! All the same, I wasn't looking forward to going.
Driving over there that day, I thought back to Christmas as a child. I loved it! I still do. I love the lights, the gifts, the songs, and the tree. I love the food and the celebration. I love that for a little while each year, people are encouraged to reach out. I love that ultimately, we celebrate this season because the greatest gift any of us will ever receive was born! My mom loved this too. During Christmas time with her, we would make all sorts of holiday goodies and fill boxes with food items she'd collected, and we'd deliver them to the widows in our little town who my mom knew from her childhood. She helped these ladies all year long, but she liked to make it extra special at Christmas time....who doesn't want this time of year to feel special? I know it was my mom's spirit of giving that instilled a love of giving in me. Truthfully, one of the top 3 greatest joys in my life is getting to give people in need something for free and letting them know Jesus loves them. (In case you're wondering, the other 2 are: knowing and experiencing real, unconditional love and....finding crazy low clearance deals!)
But what good is giving one meal to a family for one afternoon? Is that REALLY helping them in the big picture? Was there something better we could do? I kept thinking this too as I was driving. All the time at Christmas, people are in the giving spirit, and then forget about it for the other 11 months of the year. Sometimes that irks me. We should be pouring out all the time! So, by serving this meal, are we falling into the same trap of just giving during one season? It wasn't making me any more excited to be there.