It has been a little difficult to grasp that Christmas is approaching when the temperature is in the 30s—Celsius, that is, not Fahrenheit. It’s only 30 days away, but with summer blazing away, I would never know the difference. Actually, a few years ago I had two winter solstices (being in South Africa in June and Norway in December) and this year I will have two summer solstices (one in Turkey, and now in South Africa again). My mind and body are a little confused at this point; they aren’t too certain what’s coming or going.
But, even though it doesn’t feel like Christmas is around the corner, the spirit of giving still lives on during this time of the year.
Earlier this week I had to go from my office to the orphanage, which is a trip that takes about 40 seconds. Normally, this would be no big deal, but on this day it was different: rain was coming down in torrents. In the 40 seconds I was drenched and walked into the orphanage looking like I had taken a shower fully clothed. After saying, “Sho!”Mama Hilda turned to one of the older girls and said, “Go give Leslie something else to wear.” I was soon changed into fresh, dry clothing, and feeling much better.
Yesterday, when I showed up for work, the same girl approached me as I was getting out of my car. “Here,” she said, handing me a bundle of jeans. “You can have them. I don’t need them.” They were the jeans that she had given me to wear earlier in the week.
I couldn’t help but smile because of her genuine gift. I have just two pairs of pants as it is, so not only was it a gracious gift, but also a needed one. It was sweet; I often request people to donate clothing for the orphanage, and now I’m the one being donated to!
In Acts 20:35, Paul says to remember what Jesus said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Sometimes it feels I am squandering the blessings of giving because I am on the giving end and not the receiving end. But, this week, one of the girls got to experience the blessing that I get to experience—that of giving and of knowing you have helped someone in need.
Sometimes a role reversal is just what we need.