Sunday, December 6, 2009

New Christmas Ornament

Yesterday the church I attend hosted its annual craft market.  Many vendors came out to sell their goods, promising to donate a minimum of 10% of thier profits to Advent Conspiracy, a non-profit/movement that encourages people to give one less present and instead use that money to help build clean water wells all over the world.  Our church is specifically building wells in Varanasi (India).

While there were many amazing crafts and treats (including vegan cupcakes?!  A cupcake is a cupcake, I was so sad I didn't have cash on hand), this cute dove ornament caught my eye.  I knew she'd look lovely on my tree with my other birdies.

This morning we heard that one of the vendors, a homeless man that attends our church, sold prints of his drawings and paintings.  He made $160, and donated all of his money for the well projects in Varanasi.  He could have easily bought himself food, new warm clothes for the winter, or even a booked a few nights somewhere to sleep, but instead he gave everything he had.  Don't worry, I lost it right then and there.

There is something about trusting in provision, as scary as it is, and believing that all things will work out.  And there's something about truly making a sacrifice for the benefit of others.  I often struggle between my superficial spending and wants and also seeking out places to give and serve.  I am learning of many places here in Houston that are in need of money, coats, socks, and food this season, and I'm eager to do my part and help.  At the same time, I wonder if I'll ever be faced with the opportunity to give so fully and selflessly as that man did yesterday.

I hope my new ornament will remind me each Christmas of that man, his art, his conviction and generous donation, and most of all his faith in God and his community for all his provisions to be met.

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