A Stark Contrast

Mission 2540 board member Suzanne Schroder, who does a bunch of stuff out at Rose Plaza, wrote this last night and emailed it to me this morning.  I thought it was really thought-provoking and I wanted to let you read it.  So here it is:

This morning I had the privilege of seeing the culmination of a few months work toward our Christmas production at church. It was fun and grand and beautiful. The lighting, the costumes, the orchestra – what a beautiful sound. It was satisfying so see it come off so well to a packed house.

After a short nap I had to quickly make a trip to the store to buy cookies, hot chocolate and pimento cheese for my evening event.  As I wearily traveled across town to the SHOP at Rose Plaza where I minister each week, I had to wonder if anyone would show up. The ladies Bible study I assist with wanted to bless the apartment folk with some caroling.  I had suggested we include the children and then meet back for cookies and hot chocolate. They are always hungry, so I threw together some pimento cheese sandwiches.

When I arrived there were two ladies, two children, and I had picked up a young lady on my way.  There had been a water leak in the laundry room beside us so the floor was soaked. Iras had already attempted to mop it up so we just went on with eating our little sandwiches and practicing our songs.  

As we walked through the run down apartment complex knocking on doors, singing and handing out candy canes with scripture attached, I couldn’t help just loving it.

We didn’t sound grand or glorious and the kids struggled to stay focused but it just felt right, like this is how Christmas should be. Lots of people were home and loved that we were caroling to them. After we finished, Ty said, “we really got into it at the end!”  And they did. They were running all around to any door that would open and have someone peek out to hand them a candy cane. 

Afterward we headed back to the SHOP for hot chocolate and cookies.  As we visited one of the moms shared with me she had no food. She and her husband had lost their jobs. So, I loaded up two kids, took a grocery list and went to the store. After delivering them back to the apartments and heading home, I just had to reflect on the day. 

This morning was a beautiful yet very expensive production. It cost our church a lot to put it on.  And this evening simply cost me hot chocolate, cookies, some pimento cheese and a few groceries. One stirred my heart with lights and sounds of the Season while the other left my soul with tremendous gratitude and pointed out the simplicity of Christmas. 

The birth of my Savior was simple, plain and yet announced with a glorious chorus. I’m glad I experienced both today. Sometimes I tend to overdo at Christmas. Knowing I have so much when others have so little keeps my perspective on target. 

I hope you won’t get too caught up in the craziness of Christmas to miss it’s true simplicity. May you find in your celebration of Christmas, no matter how it will occur, a tremendous sense of fulfillment and peace and may your heart be filled with gratitude.

Merry Christmas


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