There were so many incredible stories from the Night of Wonder. The mother at North Euless, weeping when she saw a new bicycle for her little boy, she never thought it would be possible, but prayed for one. And, not all the stories came from the recipients…hundreds of volunteers, “adopter” and elves…each with their on special moment or story from this incredible event.
I believe the most incredible came at the last party, at the end of the evening as we all were about to head home….
Charles Dennis, brought this beautiful young mother up to me with her five stair-stepped children. He said, “she has something to give you.” I asked this precious mom, what I could do for her? I expected a request. You see they were all smiling and looked very happy, but seemingly very under dressed for the temperature outside. She looked up at me and said, “I need to give you this.” I looked into her hand, and I said, “Oh no, I can't take that.” She had a little cash all wadded up.
She said, “yes, I need to give this to you.”
Again I said, “Oh no, I can't. We invited you to come here to be blessed and I hope you had a great time. But, we invited you here with no expectations. I can't take that, we wanted to bless you!” And, trust me…I didn't feel I could take that from her!
She looked back at me, with a very serious look, the smile was gone and she said, “You must take it. I came here with no expectations, and I was blessed. I must give you this.”
I reluctantly took the crumpled wad of cash and placed it in my pocket. I thanked her and wished her a Merry Christmas…and told her if we could ever help her in any way, we were here.
After everyone had left, I made my way back up to my office to lock up and head home after three incredible days of parties…and months of planning and long hours. As I reached down for my keys to head out. I felt that crumpled wad of cash. I pulled it out and was about to lay it on the desk and I felt the the Lord say, “count it.” I knew it wasn't much…and hadn't felt the need…it was only a few dollars? So, I unfolded it and began to count.
One, two, three, four…five…six…six one dollar bills.
Maybe you caught it or maybe you haven't yet, but I know God wanted to leave me with the last word on that cold winter night. It would be easy to relish in the joy of completing this huge undertaking, or being so proud of hitting all the marks…every child adopted, every party complete, every expense covered. But all of this, the planning, the provision and this ministry began a long time ago with three simple prayers. The first and most important being, “Lord, is this of you?”
Maybe, we all accomplished the second prayer, “Lord, what is my part?”
And obviously, He accomplished the third, “Lord, bless your people, so that they may give generously.”
But, it was if this was my reminder from Him, that this, all of this…was His. His will…but, His accomplishment, and for His glory…not mine.
So thank you all for all that you did to help with this huge undertaking. Thank you for the hours of love and the financial sacrifice of so many. I pray that we all did exactly what the Lord asked of us.
My prayer, is that we all remember this Holiday Season “the reason for the season.” The Night of Wonder, is still that, and it is still…all about Him.