For years now, I have been giving the children at our church Hershey's Kisses. It started way back when my friend's son was a teenager and came out of a joking conversation between us. Since that time, sharing the candy after church has allowed me to be involved in a small way with the children and teens, even giving me the opportunity have a relationship with some of the girls that I enjoy greatly now that they are young adults. As I have said often: they get candy, but I get to know them and I truly get the better part!
I must admit, I didn't grasp how much these small candies mean to the children. But I found out on the Sunday before Valentine's Day. After the morning Church service when I expected to be giving candy Kisses to the little ones, I was surrounded by this large group of children, teens, and several mothers. They sang "Happy Valentines' Day to You," (to the tune of "Happy Birthday to You") and then presented me with an "XOXO" tote bag filled with gifts -- personal little things they had chosen for me, many of which were hand-made. I was so overwhelmed! And, yes, I began to cry!
When I got home and read the hand-written cards, I cried even more!
"Thank you for ... showing me how to experience the
joy of sharing", "Thank you for ... your generosity",
"Thank you for ... showing me your love", "Thank you
for being the Godly role model that you are...", "You
have always been there...", "We treasure your
I do understand that the Moms were the motivators of this, but the kind, loving things that were written by the kids - and some of the Moms! - touched my heart tremendously. I never, never knew any of these young people felt this way about me! I had absolutely no idea the Lord was teaching them something spiritual in my simple act of giving them candy.
I am so much more comfortable being the giver of the gift, rather than the recipient. And this totally unexpected show of affection made me feel blessed, and humbled, and very overwhelmed!
Each of us travel some very rough stretches of road from time to time, whether it's a financial situation, health issues, children problems, or in my case caring for my aging mother. But as one of the young ladies wrote on her card to me, "Life is a Journey, not a Destination." These gifts remind me that the Lord gives smiles and hugs along the way and they help sweeten the rough places..
Caregiver, we need to try to remember to look at the flowers strewn along the path. And may you and I always be surprised by the little things and thankful to the Lord for those lives that He lets us be involved in.
Stay on your knees and keep looking up. And remember that you are loved with an everlasting love.
Shared in love,