Recently, I was reminded of a story told years ago by Dr. John Maxwell. It’s one you’ve probably heard, but it brings a message that is worth contemplating again and again.
Shortly after the end of World War II, Europe was in ruins. Perhaps the saddest sight was the little orphaned children, starving in the war-torn streets. Early one chilly morning in London, an American soldier was making his way back to the barracks. Turning the corner in his jeep, he spotted a little boy of 6 or 7 years, who was standing with his nose pressed to the window of a pastry shop. The hungry boy stared in silence as the baker prepared dough for a fresh batch of doughnuts.
The soldier pulled his jeep over, got out, and walked to where the little fellow was standing. Through the steamy window, he gazed at the mouthwatering treats. The soldier’s heart went out to the child, so he asked, “Son, would you like some of those?” Startled, the little boy peered up at the tall American and cried, “Oh, yes, sir, I would!”
Quietly, the soldier stepped inside, bought a dozen doughnuts, and exited into the London fog. Turning to the child, he smiled, held out the bag, and said simply, “Here you are.” As he turned to walk away, he felt a tug on his coat. He stopped and smiled back at the boy, and heard him quietly ask, “Mister, are you God?”
Obviously, the soldier was not God – or was he? At that moment, his tender heart of compassion conveyed the heart of God to that child. The soldier saw the need and met it in a loving and caring way.
Christmas is a demonstration of God’s heart. God saw our need. We were pitiful victims, battered and bruised in a war-torn, sinful world – and He did something about it. He sent His one and only Son to save us for eternity. God’s heart is a heart of generous, compassionate love.
Our gifts this Christmas can never match God’s indescribable Gift, but perhaps we can find the opportunity to demonstrate the effects of that Gift by revealing His heart to those around us who are in need. Perhaps we can be His hands and feet to a person who needs to know someone cares.
Maybe, just maybe, when you walk away this Christmas after soothing a hurting soul, they will know that they have seen Him. They have seen God.
Wishing you faith for today,