Headlines from First Thoughts

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Friday, December 22-- More Gifts of Christmas

This morning, I posted a story from our Christmas brunch from the perspective of one of our guests. This man needed clothes for a photograph to send to his mother for Christmas.

Someone special went along for the ride, however. The story begins at the end of the brunch when things were winding down. Parker had been wanting to get with "Mr. Ed," Ed Crook, and go for a ride. Ed found me in Trentham Hall following brunch, took Parker, retrieved the car seat, and started toward Ed's vehicle. On the way, however, they bumped into the guest who was needing a new pair of pants. Ed convinced another deacon, Mike Cunningham, to go with him to the local thrift shop; and Parker went along for the ride. While I'm supervising cleanup operations, Parker is encountering his first experience directly serving the least of these.

Parker asked Mike quietly, "Sit by me." They put the guest in the passenger's seat, and the four went to the thrift shop. They found a nice pair of pants, a shirt, and a tie; but they could not find a place to try on the clothes. The store manager discovered the foursome in the back in the corner behind a wall outfitting the guest; the manager and was not pleased. The group apologized, excused themselves quickly, and arrived back at the church with our guest neatly attired.

I asked Parker about the experience later, and he didn't have much to say. I told him, "You know, you did something Jesus wants us to do, to be kind to each other."

Parker's reply: "That's a verse in the Bible."

Lesson learned, gift received, even when you're just along for the ride.

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