This past week has been a lesson in the meaning of this Christmas season and a show of the love of Christ. Near a small town 30 minutes from my home, there is a small village instead another. One made of tents and inhabited by those that are living on the margins of society. God led my brother-in-law to visit them a week ago and opened his heart and many others of us, his family and friends, to open their hearts to the needs of these people. Within a week, they went from wondering how to survive a winter, to having firewood, propane, clothes, blankets and fresh water….enough to last the winter and beyond. My wife and I were able to give something of ourselves, some of the blessings that God bestowed on us, we were able to share with these kind people.
This week culminated in a Christmas party thrown in honor of the people of tent-city and in celebration of the birth of our savior. While not everyone from tent-city attended a few did and were a blessing to all of us in attendance.
Let me quote one of the tent-city residents who expressed thanks to my brother-in-law and his family:
that day before you appeared into my life i contemplated and kept asking myself what am i good for. i do not have my babies and i am slowly dying. but dam i am in tears when i type this . dean you made me feel like a person and not some worthless piece of trash that will neve be anything. …… i just hope one day i can be back with my children and happy but dam i do not know how you done it but you saved my life the day you came down and for that thank you. so again . . i am happy and confident once again like i was prior to this situation.
The lives of my sister, my brother-in-law and all of us involved have been changed for all time with a prompting from God answered by a single person.
While thinking about the lives changed, I was listening to the song God’s Not Dead by the Newsboys and these lyrics jumped out at me.
Let love explode and bring the dead to life
A love so bold to see a revolution somehow.
God let his love explode and miracles happened. His love flowed out and the blind could see, the crippled could walk again, and the dead rose from the grave. With a simple act of love Jesus did all these things. And by using us sinners, Jesus let his love flow and help these kind people living in tents in the cold. None of these things would be possible without the love of Christ.
I feel emboldened now by the meaning of this time of year. These events have helped me understand where God was leading me when I decided to live my life with abandon.
Now I’m lost in your freedom
In this world I’ll overcome.
Now the love of Christ has freed me to become who he has wanted me to be. Based on the events of this past week, it’s been proven we can all loudly proclaim the chorus to that song.
My God’s not dead
He’s surely alive
He’s living on the inside
Roaring like a lion