Points to Ponder: Just Simple Blessings

Points to Ponder
Just Simple Blessings
By Pastor Whitmore
Weekly Contributing Writer

Our first Christmases as a married couple were lived in a little two-bedroom townhouse in Baltimore, near Herring Run Park. Our church was three blocks from home, so we would walk to Christmas Eve service under the stars. On the way back, we would admire the neighbors' decorations and lighted windows.
Retiring to bed, we left the downstairs radio on all night. Drifting off to sleep to the playing of carols, then waking on Christmas Day to the joyous sounds drifting up the steps, made it a special way to welcome the Day.
Between our home and the church was the public park, with a paved walking path that made a two-plus mile circular course along the Herring Run. We would take a walk through the desolate, quiet park, seeing only the occasional dog-walker.
From the park we headed to our church for an informal morning gathering of about forty people and their kids. We sang Christmas songs, shared stories and heard the Bible's account of Christ's birth.
Then the pastor wheeled a cart down the sanctuary aisle; a birthday cake for Jesus. We all sang the song, the kids served the cake, and Christmas Day - in the simplest way - was consecrated and made special.
Just simple blessings.
Think about it. The simple blessings run deep and we barely notice them; until they're gone. If we aren't intentional and conscientious about it, they slip into history, buried under the busyness of daily living.
It's easy to forget how truly blessed we are when we are so used to them that we can't see them anymore. Funny how we only notice when that something is missing; for we failed to appreciate it while it was here.
Here's a simple story written by Marion Doolan, published in "The Voice in the Wilderness" newsletter, in December 1997.*
"Lady, Are You Rich?"
They huddled inside the storm door - two children in ragged coats.
"Any old paper, Lady?"
I was busy. I wanted to say no - until I looked down at their feet. Thin little sandals sopped with sleet. "Come in and I'll make you a cup of hot cocoa."
There was no conversation. Their soggy sandals left marks upon the hearthstone.
Cocoa and toast with jam to fortify against the chill outside. I went back to the kitchen and started again on my household budget...The silence in the front room struck through to me. I looked in. The girl held her empty cup in her hands, looking at it. The boy asked in a flat voice, "Lady, are YOU rich?" "Am I rich? Mercy no!" I looked at my shabby slipcovers. The girl put her cup back in its saucer - carefully. "Your cups match your saucers." Her voice was old with a hunger that was not of the stomach.
They left then, holding their bundles of papers against the wind. They hadn't said thank you. They didn't need to. They had done more than that. Plain blue pottery cups and saucers. "But they matched." I tested the potatoes and stirred the gravy. Potatoes and brown gravy...a roof over our heads, my man with a steady job..."these things matched, too."
I moved the chairs back from the fire and tidied the living room. The muddy prints of small sandals were still wet upon my hearth. I let them be. I want them in case I ever forget "how very rich I really am."
* (Voice in the Wilderness, PO Box 210098, Dallas, TX 75211) Just simple blessings. Appreciate yours while you have them.

Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring. Listen to Rev. Whitmore on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs at 10:45 a.m. & p.m. & Wed at 10:45 a.m. www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com.