Outdoor Christmas decorations have become part of the season for many people. It was no different for John Duffy’s wife who spent two days decorating their front lawn. The main attraction was the nine peppermint lollipop sticks on each side of the walkway. When the Duffy’s awoke the next morning, the illuminated peppermint sticks were gone.
A home surveillance system had recently been installed so John had a video of the thief. He posted the video on Facebook. A local news station picked it up and put it on TV. Within 24 hours, a person called John upon recognizing the lollipop snatcher and her car. The snatcher’s location was just a few blocks away. When John saw his Christmas items on the thieves lawn as he drove by, he called police. Officers arrested the thief.
Don’t think this story is a single occurrence. There are numerous reports of Christmas decorations being stolen this year. In addition we also see reports of people stealing packages from front doors. Many people see this as a time to take.
When we hear of stories like this, we are reminded that the Bible tells us that love is kind and not self-seeking. It also says love does no harm to a neighbor. Clearly the activity reported here lacked love. Have you thought about your day-to-day encounters with other people? We could ask if you give or take, but the real question is if you love.
Sometimes it’s tough when hardship strikes. Sa’fyre Terry had periodic placements in foster homes when an arson fire killed her father and three siblings when she was five years old. Even though her father cradled her in his arms, she had burns over 75% of her body, claiming a foot and a hand. Three years later, Sa’fyre said the only gift she wanted was Christmas cards from all over the world. Dolder, Sa’fyre’s aunt and legal guardian, posted a message on Facebook requesting cards be sent.
When one card came in Sa’fyre was overjoyed like someone winning the lottery. Then a few dozen arrived. Soon about 195,000 letters, cards and about 3,000 packages arrived in one day. It took two mail trucks and a rented cargo truck to deliver mail to the family that day. In all, more than 300,000 letters have arrived so far.
In another news report, we see that Virginia Rose, a four year old from Virginia, was diagnosed with leukemia. Back in September her father was told she might not see another Christmas. She celebrated Christmas early this year and the family is trying to have Christmas for her every weekend. When the neighbors found out, there was caroling and cards for Virginia and a fund-raiser to throw the little girl a Christmas party the family wouldn’t forget. Virginia looked happy when she saw all the neighbors singing in her front yard, though she was very tired. The whole community got together to encourage Virginia and her family.
In each of these stories there was an outpouring of love from people who did not know or hardly knew the recipient. If you read the full details of these stories, you might need a tissue box handy, like I did.
These stories remind me of the greatest gift of all. It was God the Father sending Jesus to earth to pay the price for rebelling mankind. The result for all who trust His Son is not only abundant, but eternal life. The Bible says “God is love”. Love always involves giving. Do you give or do you take?