I'm not especially looking forward to Christmas this year. In fact, the past few holiday seasons have lacked their usual sparkle.
It's the commercialism, the greed, the way that as an adult I'm forced to see how retailers have hijacked that which ought to be reverent, special and holy.
But climbing atop a soap box doesn't help. All I can manage to do in any given day in any given situation is look inward. Where do I fall on the spectrum of greed and buying into commercialism. I'm sorry to say, I have a long way to go. And maybe what I hate is what's inside of me.
I do know that over the years, I have been given a holy ache. I have understood a little the word compassion. I have felt urged to sacrifice because I have so much. And I feel it's not enough. But I know God takes my little. He sees it.
Last year, my husband and I bought chickens through the Compassion program rather than exchange gifts. It was not much. But it was a place to start.
This year, we chose to sponsor a child through Compassion.
Still, I find myself this month, shopping madly to fill all my American aches. I fill not my Godly ache. I justify my shopping sprees by telling myself that I so often go without. How is this true? All my needs are met. All. And there are so many who lack basic necessities.
An Africa Drought Survival Kit costs $13. Same price as a video game on sale.
Food Baskets for Survival are $40. Twenty dollars more will buy a holiday food basket from Amazon complete with Camembert cheese, crackers, sweet butter and cookies, decorated with poinsettias.
$100 through Compassion buys a cow to give milk and food, things I take for granted, things which too often go to waste. This is half of what a leather jacket would cost.
I write these comparisons down to convict myself. To remind myself of the luxury I live in, which I'm blessed to be able to afford.
But as God has blessed me, might I now bless others.