Every Christmas I think of a story that was shared with me almost 10 years ago. It is a true story, and one that has made such an impact on me that I have never forgotten it. This story is not just a Christmas story, but a story about the true meaning of Christmas.
For the sake of privacy we’ll call this man Brian. Brian had a son that was handicap and he would often describe his son as the greatest gift their family could ever have. When life got serious his son would always lighten the mood and have everyone smiling.
During the Christmas season one year, he and his wife were traveling down the road with their son sitting in the back seat. At the time, he son was 16 years old. As they pulled off the freeway waiting at the traffic light, they saw a homeless couple peddling on the side of the road. Immediately, Brian had a great idea! He would teach his son the true meaning of Christmas. He pulled a dollar bill out of his wallet and handed it back to his son. He said, “Roll down the window and give these people this dollar. It will make them so happy and will be a blessing in their lives”. His son, with a huge smile of excitement on his face, took the dollar but instead of rolling down the window, proceeded to jump out of the car. Brian and his wife were startled as they realized what their son was doing, fearing that he may run out into the busy street. Then they saw him run to the homeless couple and wrapped his arms around the two giving them a huge, warm hug. He then told them that he loved them and quickly ran back to the car.
Brian noticed that the homeless woman’s eyes were filled with tears… how long had it been since she had felt such a warm and sincere display of affection? Noticing the light was green, Brian began to drive away, pondering how even though the light was green, not one person honked their horns or were impatient. Perhaps they too, were watching this beautiful display of Christ-like love. When he looked back through the rearview mirror in his car, he saw his son was smiling from ear to ear filled with shear joy with the dollar bill still clenched tightly in his fist.
As Brian relayed this story to us, with a little giggle in his smile, he said that in his attempt to teach his son the true meaning of Christmas, his son ended up teaching him the greater lesson.
Brian’s son, with his pure heart, could see what these people truly needed. The dollar would probably have helped for a moment, but the hug would last far longer than that. He didn’t see dirty shirts, or smelly pants, but children of God. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, he gave exactly what the Savior would have given if he would have been there himself.
This Christmas let’s find the moments to stop and be true disciples of Jesus Christ. Let’s do what he would do if he were walking in our shoes.